A blogpost announcement by e-commerce giant Amazon revealed that the company is bringing its automated checkout technology to some of its Whole Foods stores. The Wednesday announcement will mark the onset of the grab-and-go system in a supermarket. Amazon is calling this technology “Just Walk Out”, and it literally means that buyers can walk out of a supermarket after making purchases without having to stand in a checkout line to confirm the purchases…
How this technology works is that buyers who shop using the technology just have to scan an app before they enter, this way they do not need to stand in a checkout line; the items that have been picked by shoppers are tracked by sensors, and they are automatically charged immediately they leave the store.
Amazon said that the “Just Walk Out” will be launched in two Whole Food locations that have been scheduled to open in 2022, one of which will be located in the Glover Park neighborhood of Washington DC. And the second will be located in Sherman Oaks in California.
The introduction of the “Just Walk Out” technology does not mean that Whole Foods stores will no longer have a cashier line or stand. What it means is that people who might be in a hurry or who simply want to skip the line can scan an app before they enter, or insert their Amazon-linked debit or credit card or simply scan their palm over the company’s palm-scanning system called Amazon One. Either way, they do not need to interact with the cashier to confirm the payment as this is done automatically. Shoppers who do not want to use this technology will have to use either the self-checkout option or use a customer service booth.
The “Just Walk Out” technology has raised a few eyebrows. Labor unions have previously warned that the technology will eradicate the need for cashiers, i.e, eradicating the need for humans. This means that many people might be out of jobs in the future. Amazon has, however, argued that the labor unions’ fear might be uncalled for, as the technology will give employees the time to focus on other duties in the store.
“These locations will employ a comparable number of Team Members as existing Whole Foods Markets stores of similar sizes. With Just Walk Out-enabled Whole Foods Market stores, how Team Members in the store spend their time is simply shifting, allowing them to spend even more time interacting with customers and delivering a great shopping experience”, Amazon said.