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Amazon’s cashierless tech is coming to Whole Foods next year

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‘Just Walk Out’ tech is coming to one store in Washington, DC, and another in Sherman Oaks, California

Image: Amazon

Amazon is bringing its cashierless “Just Walk Out” technology to two new Whole Foods locations next year, the company has announced. One of the stores will be in Washington, DC, while the second will be in Sherman Oaks, California. When they’re open, customers will have the option of paying at a traditional self-checkout or customer service booth, or having the new technology automatically bill them when they leave the store.

The move marks Amazon’s latest step towards scaling its cashierless technology, which works by using a series of cameras and sensors to automatically detect what people pick up off shelves, into a variety of larger stores. Just Walk Out originally debuted in small Amazon Go convenience stores, before the company scaled it up to work in bigger and bigger grocery stores.

Amazon says its technology will support all of Whole Foods’ selection, including self-service orange juice and mochi ice cream “without adjusting any shopping habits.” It adds that the Whole Foods stores will have a “comparable” number of team members to similar sized stores, but that they’ll spend their time differently as a result of the cashierless technology.

To start cashierless shopping, customers can scan a QR code in the Whole Foods or Amazon app, insert a credit or debit card linked to their Amazon account, or scan their palm using the company’s Amazon One technology (which it has already tested in Whole Foods locations as a way of speeding up the checkout process). A digital receipt is provided after you leave the store. Customers will need an Amazon account to use Just Walk Out, and will have to use a self-checkout lane if they want to pay with cash, debit or credit cards, or gift cards.