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Amazon says it is removing Just Walk Out technology from its Fresh grocery stores

An Amazon Fresh grocery store is seen, Feb. 4, 2022, in Warrington, Pa. Amazon is removing Just Walk Out technology from its Amazon Fresh stores as part of an effort to revamp the grocery chain.
Matt Rourke
/
AP
An Amazon Fresh grocery store is seen, Feb. 4, 2022, in Warrington, Pa. Amazon is removing Just Walk Out technology from its Amazon Fresh stores as part of an effort to revamp the grocery chain.

NEW YORK — Amazon is removing Just Walk Out technology from its Amazon Fresh stores as part of an effort to revamp the grocery chain.

The company's well-known technology lets customers pay for items without standing in line and sends them receipts afterwards. Amazon says it will now be replaced by smart carts that allow customers to skip the checkout line but also see their spending in real time.

While redesigning Fresh stores in the past year, Amazon spokesperson Carly Golden said the company heard from customers who enjoy skipping the checkout line but also wanted to view their receipts and savings as they shopped. Golden said the smart carts will give customers these benefits as well as the convenience of skipping the checkout line.

Amazon's decision was first reported by The Information.

Seattle-based Amazon operates dozens of Fresh grocery stores across the country, most of which are in California, Illinois, Virginia and Washington state. The company also operates cashier-free convenience stores under the Amazon Go brand and owns Whole Foods, which it purchased in 2017 for $13.7 billion.

Despite predictions Amazon's entry into the grocery sector would disrupt the market, the company has struggled to find what works.

In 2023, Amazon CEO Andy Jassy wrote in his annual letter to shareholders that Amazon was working to find the right formula that will allow it to have a larger impact on physical grocery. The company has shut down some Amazon Fresh and Go stores that weren't living up to their promise and said early last year that it was pausing expansion on Fresh stores.

In November, the company reopened three Fresh stores in Los Angeles, California. Golden, the Amazon spokesperson, said the company is now focused on "selectively" opening new Fresh stores and remodeling the majority of its existing stores.

Just Walk Out technology will continue to be offered in Amazon Go stores and some smaller Amazon Fresh stores in the U.K., the company said. It will also continue offering the technology to third-party retailers.

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The Associated Press