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Amazon scraps “Just Walk Out” for swifter consumer process

Amazon scraps walk out

Amazon, the biggest retail entity in the world, has scrapped remote “Just Walk Out” checkouts in US-based stores. The move from Jeffery Bezos’ shopping empire was first announced in the Information, which the company would later confirm was true.

Amazon rethinks retail strategy

The “Just Walk Out” option used by the marketplace giant has been tossed out and will be replaced with scanners attached to carts. This new system will replace the one currently in place at over 130 retail locations in the United States and will be named “Dash Cart.”

Those spending their hard-earned cash in these stores will no longer be tracked by a series of cameras that accumulate the total amount a consumer grabs in their grocery cart and link it to their Amazon Account.

The Seattle-based company acquired Whole Foods in 2017 in a blockbuster $13.7bn deal and also operates Amazon Go in many retail environments across the United States.

Implementation and labor disputes

One of the deciding factors in moving away from this system was the cost to implement it, and certain labor disputes made implementing the remote systems a major challenge. Amazon also told The Grocer that the move was driven by consumer need, saying that those shopping in stores “wanted the ability to easily find nearby products and deals, view their receipt as they shop, and know how much money they saved while shopping throughout the store.”

On the Dash Cart site, the retail empire is hoping that the shopping experience will ensure “faster, more convenient shopping” and help consumers get “the most out of” their grocery budget by saving “money with real-time discounts and deals, and an onscreen receipt to track spending.”

Tony Hogget, Amazon’s Global Grocery stores chief, said, “Not everything you do in grocery needs reinventing. There are proven things grocers are doing. But you don’t really know about them until you’ve worked in the industry for a long time.” Hogget would also tell the Information that locations that offer Dash Cart will be updated into the “Version 2” sites for Amazon’s grocery empire ambitions.

On a Quarter 4 earnings call CEO Andy Jassy would say “If you want to serve as many grocery needs as we do, you have to have a mass physical presence. And that’s what we’ve been trying to do with Fresh over several years. We’ve been testing a V2 of our Fresh format in a few locations near Chicago and a few locations in Southern California.”

It remains to be seen if this older approach to customers being in charge of their purchasing decisions instead of robotic self-service will be fruitful for Amazon. Still, it is the trajectory that Jassy and Hogg are embarking on.

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