Is Amazon Fresh Saying Goodbye to Just Walk Out Technology?

Retailer is changing its focus as it prepares to open new grocery stores
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
Amazon Forecasts Modest 4th-Quarter Growth Amazon Fresh
Amazon Fresh is changing up its checkout strategy through the use of smart Dash Carts.

Amazon has been hard at work retooling its grocery strategy, and the retailer is reportedly ready to change its focus in an effort to obtain success with its Fresh business. According to a report from The Information, Amazon says its next generation of Fresh stores will not utilize the company’s proprietary Just Walk Out technology, but will instead lean on its Dash Carts for seamless checkout.

In August, Amazon unveiled redesigned Fresh stores in Schaumburg and Oak Lawn, Ill., as part of its quest to build a best-in-class grocery shopping experience. Acknowledging that his company’s foray into food retailing has been slowed by a series of external circumstances (citing lack of normalcy in the business environment), Amazon CEO Andy Jassy mentioned that his retail teams were working to enhance the Amazon Fresh operation. 

“We’re experimenting with selection, checkout formats, assortment, price points,” he said. “I’m encouraged we have several that I think are promising.”

It seems the experimentation has paid off, with Tony Hoggett, Amazon SVP of grocery stores, telling The Information that the company’s new batch of Fresh stores will not employ Just Walk Out technology. Additionally, its existing Amazon Fresh locations will get a facelift and be updated to “version two” stores sans the technology. 

The retailer will instead employ Dash Carts, smart shopping carts with a scanner and screen that allow shoppers to check out as they shop. Dash Carts also make it easier to shop the store, discover new items and find the best deals.

Amazon will reportedly still utilize Just Walk Out technology, which was first introduced in 2016, in a small number of Fresh stores in the U.K., as well as in some of its Amazon Go stores.

Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods has more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. PG named both companies as its Retailers of the Century.

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