Amazon Bids Farewell to Just Walk Out Tech in Supermarkets.

Amazon Bids Farewell to Just Walk Out Tech in Supermarkets.
© Amazon

Amazon has decided to phase out its innovative Just Walk Out technology across its Amazon Fresh supermarkets in the United States, signaling a strategic shift. Initially celebrated for its forward-thinking approach, Just Walk Out enabled shoppers to bypass traditional checkout lines through an advanced computer vision system that tracked their purchases. Despite its innovative promise, the technology encountered obstacles, including delayed receipt delivery and inaccuracies in order tracking.

The technology also stirred ethical and privacy concerns, notably with a lawsuit in New York alleging Amazon’s unauthorized collection of biometric data from customers. Further scrutiny revealed that the purportedly automated system relied significantly on manual verification by employees in India, contradicting its autonomous facade.

Amazon is not abandoning the concept entirely, however. The Just Walk Out technology will still be in use at Amazon Go locations and selected Amazon Fresh stores in the UK. Moreover, Amazon plans to offer this technology to other retailers, even though it has received a lukewarm response so far.

As an alternative to Just Walk Out, Amazon is investing in the Dash Cart, a smart cart that compels users to scan their items, merging traditional shopping experiences with a touch of technology.

This strategic move reflects Amazon’s broader adjustment in tackling the competitive landscape of brick-and-mortar retailing, a field dominated by industry titans such as Walmart. Under the guidance of Tony Hoggett, who has been leading Amazon’s supermarket sector since 2022, the company has also been streamlining its operations, closing down various physical store formats like Amazon Style, Books, 4-Star, and Pop-up stores in an effort to sharpen its focus and strategy in the physical retail space.


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