Amazon Fresh Stores Ditching Just Walk Out Technology for Smart Carts: Why the Shift and What it Means for Customers

Amazon is discontinuing Just Walk Out technology at its Fresh grocery stores in the US

Amazon is making changes to its Amazon Fresh stores by replacing the Just Walk Out technology with smart carts. The technology, which allowed customers to pay for items without waiting in line, will be removed. However, the new smart carts will still offer the convenience of skipping the checkout line while also allowing customers to view their spending in real time. According to Amazon spokesperson Carly Golden, customer feedback played a role in this decision as customers expressed a desire to see their receipts and savings as they shopped.

This decision marks a shift in Amazon’s approach to its grocery chain as it has been redesigning its Fresh stores over the past year. Amazon operates numerous Fresh grocery stores across the country, with most located in California, Illinois, Virginia, and Washington state. In addition to Fresh stores, Amazon also operates cashier-free convenience stores under the Amazon Go brand and owns Whole Foods.

Despite Amazon’s initial efforts to disrupt the grocery market, it has faced challenges in finding the right formula for its physical grocery endeavors. In Andy Jassy’s annual letter to shareholders in 2023, he acknowledged that fine-tuning was needed in approaching grocery operations. Since then, Amazon has closed some underperforming stores and paused expansion on Fresh stores while focusing on selectively opening new stores and remodeling existing ones.

While Just Walk Out technology will no longer be available in Amazon Fresh stores, it will still be offered in Amazon Go stores and select smaller Amazon Fresh stores in the U.K. The technology will also continue to be available to third-party retailers. This decision reflects Amazon’s commitment to meeting customer needs and improving the overall shopping experience for its customers by providing more transparency into their spending habits while maintaining the convenience of skipping lines during checkout.

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