Amazon Scraps ‘Just Walk Out’ To Smart Carts In Fresh Stores

By U Cast Studios
April 3, 2024

Amazon Scraps ‘Just Walk Out’ To Smart Carts In Fresh Stores
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Amazon is phasing out its “Just Walk Out” technology from its Amazon Fresh stores in a bid to overhaul the grocery chain.

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The company’s well-known technology, which allows shoppers to purchase goods without queuing and receive receipts electronically, will be substituted by smart carts. Amazon states that these carts will not only allow customers to bypass the checkout lines but also enable them to monitor their expenses in real time.

Tony Hoggett, the senior vice president of the internet giant’s grocery operations, told The Information that the focus will now shift towards smart cart technology throughout the U.S., instead of the “Just Walk Out” technology. However, this change will not impact its stores in the U.K.

Gizmodo reports that while the system appeared to be completely automated, “Just Walk Out” relied on more than 1,000 people in India watching and labeling videos to ensure accurate checkouts.

“The cashiers were simply moved off-site, and they watched you as you shopped,” it claimed.

Amazon’s grocery venture

Based in Seattle, Amazon runs many Fresh grocery outlets across the country, with a significant presence in California, Illinois, Virginia, and Washington state. The company also manages a chain of cashier-less convenience stores under the Amazon Go label and acquired Whole Foods in 2017 for $13.7 billion.

Contrary to expectations that Amazon’s foray into the grocery market would be a disruptor, the company has faced challenges in pinpointing a successful strategy.

In 2023, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy published his annual shareholder letter where he reflected on one of the most challenging periods in the retailer’s history. In the statement, he wrote: “Amazon Fresh is the brand we’ve been experimenting with for a few years, and we’re working hard to identify and build the right mass grocery format for Amazon scale. Grocery is a big growth opportunity for Amazon.”

The company has closed several Amazon Fresh and Go stores that did not meet expectations and announced early last year that it was halting the expansion of Fresh stores.

Just Walk Out technology will continue to be offered in Amazon Go stores and some smaller Amazon Fresh stores in the U.K., the company said. It will also continue offering the technology to third-party retailers.

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