Whole Foods opens first store where shoppers skip registers – Business Insider

  • Whole Foods Market just launched its first-ever store based on Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology.
  • The technology allows shoppers to scan into the store and skip the line for the cashier altogether.
  • A self-checkout option is also available in the store, and it is staffed by Whole Foods employees.

Whole Foods Market announced the opening of its first-ever store touting Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology  in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.

The technology from Whole Foods allows shoppers to skip waiting in line for the cash register altogether, although there will also be a self-checkout option for customers as well. 

The 21,500-square-foot store is situated in D.C.’s Glover Park neighborhood. Whole Foods Market has announced that the store will carry over 800 local products, garnered through partnerships with 100 local suppliers. The Glover Park store will be staffed with Whole Foods Market employees.

The “Just Walk Out” service requires shoppers to scan in with an in-store code at the store’s entry gate. Customers are expected to bag their own groceries as they shop. In-store sensors track these selections and the total cost of the basket. Then shoppers scan out of the store and receive an emailed receipt. Shoppers who wish to opt out of the service can access the store through a gate labeled “pay at register,” which allows them to pay via self-checkout. 

Amazon has attempted to meld its own technology with the grocery industry for years. Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion back in 2017. In 2020, the company kicked off brick-and-mortar Fresh stores, which also relied on “Just Walk Out” technology. In 2021, Insider reviewed internal documents revealing that the online giant predicted expenses around “Just Walk Out” to drop 75% between 2020 and 2023. Currently, Amazon also runs “Just Walk Out” technology at select Hudson stores, Resorts World Las Vegas, and the TD Garden area in Boston.

Whole Foods also has plans to open a second store with “Just Walk Out” technology in Sherman Oaks, California. The California store is also slated to open in 2022. 

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