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Amazon walks away from Just Walk Out technology

amazon smart cart

Amazon is pulling the plug on its Just Walk Out technology in the U.S., which lets customers buy items in select Amazon Fresh BB #:283186 stores without waiting in line.

The move was first reported by The Information.

It still plans to use the technology in small format Amazon Go locations and in some stores in the United Kingdom.

Amazon will replace the technology with smart carts, which also allow customers to skip checkout lines, but items are tracked in real time rather than getting a receipt later.

Amazon spokesperson Carly Golden told the Associated Press that the company heard from customers who said they enjoy skipping the checkout line, but they want to view their receipts and savings as they shop. Golden said smart carts will give customers these benefits as well as the convenience of skipping the checkout line.

Business Insider reports the technology used in Just Walk Out wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.

It said Amazon uses about 1,000 workers in India who review what customers pick up, set down, and walk out of stores with.

About 700 of every 1,000 Just Walk Out sales had to be reviewed by Amazon’s team in India in 2022, according to The Information. Amazon said internally that it wanted 50 out of every 1,000 sales to get a manual check, according to the report.

An Amazon spokesperson disputed that claim in a statement to Business Insider, saying the team in India mostly helps train the model that Amazon used for Just Walk Out.

“Associates may also validate a small minority of shopping visits where our computer vision technology cannot determine with complete confidence an individual’s purchases,” the spokesperson told Business Insider.

According to Business Insider, 27 of the 44 Amazon Fresh stores currently have the technology, and Amazon also added Just Walk Out to some Whole Foods stores.

About a year ago, Amazon announced its plans to close 8 of its 29 Amazon Go stores.

Retail Editor Pamela Riemenschneider store checked an Amazon Fresh store and its smart cart at a Chicagoland location in December 2022.


Greg Johnson is Vice President of Media for Blue Book Services