Back in January of 2018, the first Amazon Go store opened in downtown Seattle. A small convenience-style store, it was an experiment in cashier-free groceries. Tracked by cameras and weight sensors and identified by a phone app, preregistered customers can simply shop and leave. The app will be charged for everything they pick up. The system hasn’t been flawless – customers who strongly resemble each other can confuse it, as do items being accidentally mis-shelved – but it’s working well enough that Amazon keeps moving forward with the concept.
Since that first location, the tech and retail giant has rolled out twenty-five Amazon Go locations in Seattle, Chicago, San Francisco, and New York City. Expanding, they just opened their first Amazon Go Grocery, also in Seattle, the chain’s first full-size grocery store with an inventory expanded to include fresh produce and baked goods.
Now they want to go yet another step further in automating grocery shopping – as of March 9th, Amazon is offering its cashier-less “just walk out” technology as a product available to other retail companies.
“Just Walk Out technology enables shoppers to simply enter a store, grab what they want, and just go,” says the newly launched website advertising the system.
“Born from years of experience at Amazon Go, Just Walk Out uses a combination of technologies to eliminate checkout lines. We now offer retailers the ability to leverage this technology in their stores to help bring fast and convenient checkout experiences to more shoppers.”
Interestingly, despite offering Just Walk Out to other retailers, Amazon has not chosen to implement it in Whole Foods, the grocery chain they have owned since 2017, before they began opening Amazon Go shops. Not one of the 500 existing Whole Foods stores uses cashier-less technology, and Amazon has no plans to change that.