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06/15/2021

Amazon Builds Cashierless Tech in Full-Size Grocery Store for the First Time

The new Amazon Fresh grocery store in Bellevue, WA, marks a pivotal moment for Amazon: the first time the retail giant has built the option to shop using its Just Walk Out cashierless tech in a full-size grocery store.
Jamie Grill-Goodman
Senior Editor
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When the new Amazon Fresh grocery store in The Marketplace at Factoria in Bellevue, WA, opens June 17 it will mark a pivotal moment for Amazon. This is the first time the retail giant has built the option to shop using its Just Walk Out cashierless tech in a full-size grocery store.

Shoppers of the 14th Amazon Fresh location can also choose to checkout using traditional check-out lanes staffed by Amazon Fresh employees, but Amazon Dash Carts will not be available at the new location.

When Amazon opened its first Amazon Fresh in 2020, it equipped stores with Amazon Dash Cartswhich enable customers to skip the checkout line by placing their bags inside, signing in using their Fresh QR code in the Amazon app, shopping, and finally exiting the store through the Dash Cart lane to automatically complete their payment. The Just Walk out option doesn’t require any scanning or specials carts/bags.

Amazon explains customers who opt for Just Walk Out shopping can enter the store in any of three ways: They can scan the QR code in their Amazon app, insert a credit or debit card linked to their Amazon account, or use Amazon One to scan their palm. Amazon started adding its Amazon One palm entry and payment technology to Whole Foods Market stores in April and introduced the contactless way for people to use their palm to enter, identify, and pay last year.

Once inside the store, customers can just take items off the shelf and the item will be added to a virtual cart and removed if they put it back on a shelf. When they are ready to leave the store, scanning or inserting the entry method will trigger the charge. Shoppers who use the Just Walk Out experience will be sent digital receipts, also available in their Amazon account.

Just Walk Out technology is made possible by a combination of computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning, and adds convenience to customers’ grocery shopping experience by giving them the option to come in, pick up what they want, and skip the checkout when they’re done,” Amazon notes in the blog. “Anyone shopping at the new Amazon Fresh store can take advantage of the technology, which connects to customers’ Amazon account or credit card.”

Amazon first introduced Just Walk Out shopping in its Amazon Go stores several years ago, and then expanded it to Amazon Go Grocery stores, Amazon Fresh stores in the UK, and also offer it to third-party retailers as a service for use in their stores. The Seattle Times reported last month that Amazon is ditching the Amazon Go Grocery brand, closing one of its two stores by that name and re-christening the other under its Amazon Fresh label.

“We’ve received incredible feedback from customers at our Amazon Fresh stores in California, Illinois, and Virginia about our low prices and broad grocery selection, as well as innovations to make shopping simpler and more convenient, like free grocery delivery and pickup for Prime members, Amazon.com returns capabilities, and Alexa shopping,” said Jeff Helbling, vice president of Amazon Fresh Stores. “Customers love the convenience, selection, and value offered by Amazon Fresh—and now customers in Bellevue will get to experience the added convenience of Just Walk Out shopping in our newest Amazon Fresh store. Our hundreds of store employees have been working hard to get the store ready, and we’re eager to hear feedback from customers as we open our doors to the Bellevue community in the coming days.”