Whole Foods to now feature Amazon's cashier-less checkout technology
Amazon earlier launched its cashier-less "Just Walk Out" technology at Amazon Go stores and larger Fresh supermarkets. Now, Amazon-owned Whole Foods in the US is set to equip its stores in two locations with the Just Walk Out technology. Next year, new Whole Foods Market stores in Glover Park, Washington DC, and Sherman Oaks, California, will get this feature. Here are more details.
Amazon's Just Walk Out allows customers to do exactly that
Whole Foods co-founder and CEO, John Mackey, said, "By collaborating with Amazon to introduce Just Walk Out shopping at these two Whole Foods Market stores, our customers will be able to... save time by skipping the checkout line." Amazon's cashier-less technology allows customers to walk in, put products in a shopping bag, and walk out without interacting with a billing kiosk or cashier.
Just Walk Out to support entire Whole Foods Market selection
Amazon claims that its Just Walk Out technology is powered by machine vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning. Amazon signed a deal last year to license this technology to third-party retailers. For the partnership with Whole Foods, Amazon expanded the algorithms to support all of the Whole Foods Market selection. Amazon claims customers won't need to change shopping habits to use the new system.
Whole Foods will have self-checkout lanes too
Shoppers who want to use Amazon's Just Walk Out technology can opt to do so when they enter the store by scanning an app, inserting a debit card linked to their Amazon account, or by using the Amazon One palm-scanning system. Interestingly, Whole Foods will retain its self-checkout lanes for customers who prefer using those instead.
Unions claim Amazon's move will cost Whole Foods employees jobs
Meanwhile, Engadget reported unions have proclaimed Amazon's cashless technology will cost workers their jobs. On the contrary, Amazon said the new Whole Foods locations would "employ a comparable number of team members as existing Whole Foods stores." In a press release announcing the partnership, Amazon claimed employees would be able to "spend even more time interacting with customers and delivering a great shopping experience."