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Amazon ends cashier-less ‘Just Walk Out’ program

Amazon is abandoning its “Just Walk Out” program at its high-tech Fresh grocery stores as it renovates its supermarkets.

Amazon first announced the cashierless system in 2018 when it launched the first 10,400-square-foot “Amazon Go Grocery” store near its Seattle headquarters.

The concept promises to deliver a new era of grocery shopping in which Amazon Prime users scan their member QR code to enter, pick up the items they want, then exit the store with a cart full of groceries without ever having checked or swiped a credit card.

Amazon said it will no longer use its “Just Walk Out” program in the majority of its existing Fresh grocery stores — and all of its future Fresh locations — as it reshapes the marketplaces. REUTERS

After a futuristic system of cameras and sensors calculated what shoppers were walking away with, they were then informed via their Amazon account of the bill amount.

Amazon is abandoning the technology, however, telling Bloomberg that it will stop using the program when remodeling existing Fresh grocery stores and will not introduce it in new locations that begin opening later this year.

Amazon declined to comment on when the technology would return.

There are currently about 40 large Amazon Fresh stores in the United States, including Oceanside, New York, Paramus, New Jersey, and Broomall and Warring, Pennsylvania, but only 27 use “Just Walk Out” technology.

Just Walk Out technology will still be offered in Amazon Go stores, as well as smaller format Fresh stores in the UK.

The Information first reported on the discontinuation of “Just Walk Out” technology.

Tony Hoggett, Amazon’s senior vice president of global grocery and a three-decade veteran of British retail giant Tesco, told The Information that “Just Walk Out” makes sense in smaller stores where customers shop. few items, but is not ideal for larger grocery stores like Fresh.

“Just Walk Out” worked by asking Amazon Prime users to scan their member QR code to enter, pick up the items they wanted, then walk out of the store with a cart full of groceries without ever checked or swiped credit card. Amazon

Budget-conscious shoppers have expressed discomfort with receipts being emailed up to several hours after customers have left stores. They want to see what they are spending in real time.

As a result, Amazon will rely more on its Dash Cart feature, where shoppers scan items as they go using a scanner on their cart.

However, Dash Cart’s functionality will also be reduced, Bloomberg reported.

Earlier versions of tech carts used an array of cameras to automatically identify what shoppers grabbed from the shelf and placed in the cart.

Newer versions of the Dash Cart have said goodbye to cameras in favor of scanners that shoppers must hold items in front of. The scanners then read the barcodes or have touchscreens to search for non-barcoded items like fresh produce and ready-to-serve hot meals.

Smart shopping carts still allow customers to skip the checkout line, with other benefits like showing the receipt while they shop, an Amazon spokeswoman told the Post. Carly Golden.

“We have invested significant time in redesigning a number of our Amazon Fresh stores over the last year, providing a better overall shopping experience with more value, convenience and selection – and up Now we have seen positive results, with a larger customer base. purchase satisfaction scores and increased purchases,” Golden added.

Amazon is increasingly relying on its “Dash Carts,” which allow shoppers to scan items and view their receipt while they shop. VIA REUTERS

The “Just Walk Out” concept will still be sold to smaller retailers and convenience stores who can be more nimble in implementing the technology, which is expensive to install and relies on humans to verify the accuracy of transactions – characteristics that make implementation difficult. the program will be used in supermarkets on a larger scale.

So the effort to sell “Just Walk Out” was moved from Hoggett’s team to Amazon Web Services, the tech giant’s cloud computing subsidiary, according to The Information.

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos initially scoffed at the idea of ​​a cashier-less supermarket.

After The Post first reported in February 2017 that Amazon was developing a “supermarket-sized version” of its Amazon Go stores, citing sources that the two-story concept would allow robots to grab and packing up merchandise on the top floor while shoppers picked up items such as produce, meats and liquor from the ground floor, Bezos lashed out.

In a rare post on Twitter at the time, he claimed that the newspaper’s sources had “mixed up their drugs!” »

News of upcoming high-tech grocery stores also worried consumers because Amazon relied more on technology than human workers — a controversial and job-killing business model.

“It is both incorrect and misleading to suggest that Amazon is destroying jobs. The fact is that no other U.S.-based company has created more jobs than Amazon,” the company said in a statement in 2020 after the Post reported on the opening of a new store. store with “Just Walk Out” technology.

New York Post

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