Amazon is introducing its cashierless technology to Whole Foods store locations, marking the first time the technology is being tested in a full-size grocery store.
The company’s “Just Walk Out” technology is first being deployed at two new store locations that are set to open in 2022 in Glover Park, Washington D.C. and in Sherman Oaks, California. It will enable shoppers to skip the cash register by either scanning an app or their palm over the Amazon One palm-scanning system or inserting a credit or debit card linked to their Amazon account into the device.
Shoppers who choose to opt-out of using the cashierless technology will still be able to pay for their item using a self-checkout system or through a customer service booth.
Amazon’s move to introduce cashierless technology at these two stores follows the rollout of its palm scanning technology at a Whole Foods store in Seattle, WA, in April this year. The company also utilizes the technology at its Amazon Fresh grocery stores as we all as its Go convenience stores. Amazon also provides the technology to other grocery store retailers.
The use of the technology has prompted privacy experts to raise alarm over the risks of handing biometric data to private companies, who already capture way too much personal data. The expansion of its use is also likely to draw the ire of labor unions, who have previously warned that the technology will lead to the elimination of cashiers.
Amazon, however, argued that it would free up time for in-store workers to engage shoppers and improve their experience.
“These locations will employ a comparable number of Team Members as existing Whole Foods Markets stores of similar sizes,” Amazon said. “With Just Walk Out-enabled Whole Foods Market stores, how Team Members in the store spend their time is simply shifting, allowing them to spend even more time interacting with customers and delivering a great shopping experience.”