So Much for Amazon's 'Just Walk Out' Grocery Checkout

Company pulls the plug on it
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 3, 2024 2:30 AM CDT
Amazon Scraps 'Just Walk Out' Grocery Store Checkout
FILE - An Amazon Fresh grocery store is seen, Feb. 4, 2022, in Warrington, Pa.   (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

It was a futuristic concept that, as it turns out, was too good to be true: Walk into an Amazon Fresh grocery store and, instead of going through the whole tedious checkout process, just walk out of the store and you'll be automatically charged for what you bought. As first reported by the Information (paywall), Amazon is scrapping that whole concept at its larger stores, in favor of smart shopping carts called Dash Carts that will allow customers to scan items and checkout as they shop. Self-checkout counters will also be added for non-Amazon customers to use in Amazon Fresh stores, Gizmodo reports. One big problem with Just Walk Out? While it seemed magically automatic, it actually required more than 1,000 people, working from India, to watch shoppers and tally up their items, Futurism reports.

Only about half of Amazon Fresh stores utilized Just Walk Out, which was also quite expensive to run (in addition to the off-site workers, it required a lot of cameras) and slow—customers sometimes waited hours to get a receipt. (It will still be used in Amazon's smaller corner stores, per the Verge.) The move comes as Amazon prepares to add new Amazon Fresh locations this year. (More Amazon stories.)

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