Amazon to close Just Walk Out at some grocery stores

The e-commerce giant is set to replace the grab-and-go automated checkout system with its smart carts as it refreshes its Amazon Fresh stores in the U.S., according to Grocery Dive
Amazon to close Just Walk Out at some grocery stores

Amazon is pulling back on its Just Walk Out automated checkout system, according to Grocery Dive magazine. The company will be removing the grab-and-go automated technology from its U.S. Amazon Fresh grocery stores this year as part of a chain-wide revamp, according to an interview by The Information with Tony Hoggett, Amazon’s senior vice president of grocery stores.

Seattle-based e-commerce giant will instead offer its smart shopping carts as a “frictionless” checkout experience in the stores, Hoggett said. The carts allow shoppers to scan items as they go and then skip the checkout line with an automatic payment.

The retailer said customer feedback suggested shoppers were looking for additional features, such as finding nearby deals in the store and viewing their receipts real-time. The company said its smart shopping carts will include those benefits. Amazon pointed to its efforts to redesign some Amazon Fresh stores, noting that the refreshed stores provide “a better overall shopping experience with more value, convenience, and selection.”

Just Walk Out technology has stumbled over the last few years. Amazon leaned heavily on the technology in its stores, including grocery chain Whole Foods. However, it has struggled to control costs and to build support for the technology with other retailers.

As recently as 2022, Amazon was expanding the use of the Just Walk Out checkout technology at its Amazon Fresh grocery chain. The company operates its Whole Foods Market business separately but also introduced the cashierless technology at that grocery store chain the same year. But at least one rival is still investing in the grab-and-go grocery experience. Grocery chain Aldi debuted a fully automated checkout system, powered by technology firm Grabango, in a suburban Chicago store last November.

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