Amazon shuts down cashierless system in US grocery stores

(Bloomberg) — Amazon.com Inc. is removing its cashierless Just Walk Out technology from grocery stores, backing away from an ambitious system designed to get shoppers to skip the line.

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An Amazon spokesperson said Amazon will remove the system as it is remodeling existing Fresh grocery stores and will not feature it in new locations opening later this year.

Tony Hoggett, Amazon’s senior vice president of grocery stores, joined the company in 2022 and began a far-reaching revamp of the company’s grocery business, which has struggled to build market share in an industry dominated by Walmart Inc. and Kroger Co. ,

Amazon has also scaled back its ambitions for Dash Cart, which lets shoppers scan items. Carts initially relied on cameras to identify what shoppers grabbed from the shelf. They now mostly identify items with traditional scanners, although shoppers can still use touchscreens to ring up merchandise without bar codes.

Information previously reported the scrapping of the Just Walk Out technique.

The system used ceiling-mounted cameras and shelf sensors, supported by algorithms, to determine what a shopper took from a store. Customers were automatically charged upon exiting.

The company began developing the technology more than a decade ago as part of an effort by then-Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos to develop a unique offering to stem Amazon’s move into physical stores.

The system began in 2018 with the opening of a convenience store in the lobby of Amazon’s Seattle headquarters. The company built dozens of Amazon Go branded convenience stores and later installed cashierless technology in a pair of Fresh Stores and Whole Foods Market locations.

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