Amazon removed the human element from bookshops and then pretty much every other kind of shops apart from supermarkets. Even with its delivery services a lot of people like to have a look at the food they are buying.

Now Amazon are planning on opening small shops, starting in Seattle, that will allow you to shop without going to a checkout. It works by monitoring what customers take off the shelf and then on leaving the store the customer pays via their Amazon account.

Assuming they have thought out the technical difficulties this is a brilliant leap forward from self service tills. In most cases having to set up an account to do your shopping would only put customers off but most people already have an Amazon account putting them in a prime spot to test out this new kind of shopping experience. 

It may even convince them to bring book stores back. Highly unlikely but maybe.