Amazon launches supermarket without checkouts

Waiting in line at the checkout could soon be a thing of the past - but millions of jobs could be too.

Amazon is about to open its first cashier-less supermarket.

Called Amazon Go, the store is filled with not just grocery items, but state-of-the-art technology that's being called the biggest breakthrough in shopping technology since barcodes.

"Simply use the Amazon Go app to enter the store, take the products you want and go! No lines, no checkout," the internet shopping giant says on its website.

It has been tested for more than a year among Amazon employees and on Monday (US time), the first Amazon Go store will open to the public in Seattle.

Entering the store is remarkably like going through the turnstiles at a train station - you show your phone to a sensor, then start shopping.

Whatever you take off the shelf is added to your list - put it back and it's removed. When you're done, just walk out the door and Amazon charges the total to your account.

A New York Times reporter who got a sneak peek, said it "feels like shoplifting". So much so, he actually tried shoplifting.

"I tried to trick the store's camera system by wrapping a shopping bag around a $4.35 four-pack of vanilla soda while it was still on a shelf, tucking it under my arm and walking out of the store," wrote Nick Wingfield.

Amazon still charged him for it.

According to the 2013 census, about 10,500 people in New Zealand are employed as checkout operators.