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In Another Blow To Minimum Wage, Amazon To Bring Cashierless Checkout Tech To ‘Full-Size Grocery’ Store
LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04: Customers carry their purchases as they leave the UK's first branch of Amazon Fresh, on March 04, 2021, in the Ealing area of London, England. Shoppers at the Amazon Fresh store, which stocks hundreds of Amazon-owned products and third-party items, check in with a smartphone app upon entry and are automatically billed when they exit, without needing to scan individual items. The location is Amazon's first "just walk out" shop outside the United States.
Leon Neal/Getty Images

In the latest setback for those seeking an increase in the federal minimum wage, Amazon announced that it will be opening its first full-size and fully operational grocery store, complete with “cashierless checkout technology” in Washington state.

This “Amazon Fresh” store will utilize what the Big Tech giant has dubbed, “Just Walk Out” technology, which means that you do not have to stop at a checkout register to pay for your items. Upon entry to the store, customers scan a QR code with their Amazon account details, while the store infrastructure tracks what is selected from the shelves. The customer can then leave, and Amazon will bill their account automatically.

“The new store will also allow for customers to use Amazon One to scan their palm or insert a credit or debit card linked to their Amazon account to enter the store,” CNET reported.

According to the outlet, the “Amazon Fresh” store will open on June 17 at the marketplace at Factoria Square Mall in Bellevue, Washington. “It’ll also have Amazon package pickup and returns, Alexa kiosks and the Amazon One payment system, as well as traditional checkout registers if you want to pay for your groceries in the usual way,” CNET added.

“Just Walk Out technology is made possible by a combination of computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning, and adds convenience to customers’ grocery shopping experience by giving them the option to come in, pick up what they want, and skip the checkout when they’re done,” Amazon explained in a statement. “Anyone shopping at the new Amazon Fresh store can take advantage of the technology, which connects to customers’ Amazon account or credit card. Customers are prompted at the store’s entry gates to choose if they want to use Just Walk Out shopping or the traditional checkout lanes.”

“Customers who opt for Just Walk Out shopping can enter the store in three ways: They can scan the QR code in their Amazon app, use Amazon One to scan their palm, or insert a credit or debit card linked to their Amazon account. Each option will open the Just Walk Out gates,” Amazon’s statement continued. “Once inside the store, customers can shop like normal. Anything they take off the shelf is automatically added to their virtual cart, and anything they put back on the shelf comes out of their virtual cart. At the end of their trip, customers shopping with the Just Walk Out experience simply scan or insert their entry method again to exit.”

“Customers have enjoyed the effortless shopping experience enabled by our Just Walk Out technology at our Amazon Go, Amazon Go Grocery, Amazon Fresh stores in the UK, and third-party retailer stores. The feedback has been fantastic, with customers noting that skipping the checkout allows them to save time and reduce contact in stores,” said Dilip Kumar, vice president of Physical Retail and Technology at Amazon.

“Bringing Just Walk Out technology to a full-size grocery space with the Amazon Fresh store in Bellevue showcases the technology’s continued ability to scale and adapt to new environments and selection. I’m thrilled it’ll help even more customers enjoy an easier and faster way to shop and can’t wait to get their feedback on this latest Just Walk Out offering,” Kumar added.

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