Amazon has officially brought its cashierless Just Walk Out technology to a Whole Foods store for the first time. Customers can now shop and leave the store with all their items without having to interact with any cashier.
The revamped Whole Foods opened up on February 23rd in Washington, DC’s Glover Park location, where there’s been a Whole Foods for over 20 years.
While Amazon has introduced this technology in Amazon Go and Amazon Fresh branded stores, this is the first time the cashierless technology is being fully implemented into a Whole Foods store.
Amazon bought the Whole Foods grocery chain back in 2017 for $13.7 billion, but up until this point Amazon’s integration with the chain has been more minimal; offering discounts and free delivery services to Prime account holders.
The Whole Foods is a 21,500 square foot location, however, the Amazon Fresh store in Washington is the largest Amazon location to implement Just Walk Out cashierless technology. Amazon’s implementation of this technology in a preexisting Whole Foods location with no additional Amazon branding being added to the overall design and aesthetic is proving to experts that the tech company is very confident in the cashierless technology.
There’s no official word yet if Amazon plans to bring the technology to all Whole Foods stores, but it’s likely more Just Walk Out stores will begin to appear throughout the nation.
According to a reporter who went to the DC Whole Foods location, the store features Amazon’s palm-recognition technology for entry, alongside with QR codes. The store still has employees staffing various counters who are also there to assist customers who may not fully understand the cashierless technology at first.
The store is overall leaning into a more self-service model. Customers are able to cut their own loafs of bread and other features that promote independence.
The cashierless technology is being met with mixed reactions, especially from DC residents who were used to shopping regularly at that specific Whole Foods location.
The second Whole Foods store that’s set to open with cashierless Just Walk Out technology is located in Los Angeles. The brand announced that it will likely be opening later this year.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at email@example.com.