Looking for a quick and easy way to shop?
Amazon Fresh has your number. On Thursday, November 18, the company will open its first California market featuring Just Walk Out technology.
Take what you need and go
The technology, at the Amazon Fresh store at 11340 South St. in Cerritos, will allow shoppers to walk into the store, grab what they need, and leave without going through a checkout line or self-service kiosk. The user-friendly option is already in use at four Amazon Fresh locations – one in Bellevue, Washington, one in Washington, DC, and two in the Chicago area.
Burt Flickinger III, chief executive of retail consultancy firm Strategic Resource Group, said this type of shopping experience has become increasingly popular, especially amid the pandemic.
“The line at the checkout is the least popular aspect of going to the grocery store,” he said. “This eliminates that, and the checkout lines are currently around 200% longer due to the shortage of workers during COVID-19. “
Upcoming Amazon Fresh stores in La Habra and Moorpark will also feature Just Walk Out technology, but company officials have not disclosed when these locations will open. A small concession store in the LA Forum also offers Just Walk Out.
Amazon Fresh District Manager Jondolon Bush explains the technology this way:
“We have hundreds of cameras located throughout the store and shelves equipped with sensors,” he said. “This, along with deep learning algorithms, allows us to recognize any products that shoppers take away or put back on the shelf. “
Customers can enter the store in one of three ways. They can scan the QR code in their Amazon app, use Amazon One to scan their palm to enter, or insert a credit or debit card linked to their Amazon account.
When they leave, their card will be debited for all the items in their virtual shopping cart. If they need a receipt, they can go to a kiosk in the store, enter their email address, and a receipt will be sent to them.
They can use the same credit card to enter any Just Walk Out compatible store in the future and a receipt will automatically be emailed to them.
All of this enables a digital and hands-free shopping experience. But Amazon officials stress that employees will still be available to customers who want to shop the traditional way with a live cashier.
Other Amazon Fresh stores in Woodland Hills, Porter Ranch, Irvine, Northridge, North Hollywood, Whittier, Long Beach, Ladera Heights, and Fullerton use cashless Dash Carts, which require shoppers to download an app or create an Amazon account. .
The company would not reveal if Just Walk Out will be integrated into these grocery stores.
Other supermarket chains, including Albertsons and Sam’s Club, have implemented similar contactless payment options.
Albertsons Pay offers two choices: Albertsons Direct allows buyers to pay through their bank, and Albertsons Cash is a stored value account that can be preloaded and used at all Albertsons stores.
Sam’s Club customers can use the company’s Scan and Go app to collect their items and pay through the app while in the store before showing their digital receipt upon exit.
These types of cashier-less alternatives would normally raise fears of job losses, but Flickinger said this is currently not the case.
“Normally that would be the case, but retail stores are currently about 20% understaffed,” he said. “It comes from workers who left the industry during COVID-19 and didn’t come back, and because a smaller portion of young people want to work in grocery stores.”