Amazon Fresh on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 in Oceanside.

Amazon Fresh on Wednesday, July 13, 2022 in Oceanside. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Amazon is removing Just Walk Out technology from its Amazon Fresh stores, including the one in Oceanside, 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. The smart carts will give customers these benefits as well as the convenience of skipping the checkout line, Golden said.

Amazon's decision was first reported by The Information.

Of the 44 Fresh grocery stores across the country, most of which are in California, Illinois, Virginia and Washington state, 27 have Just Walk Out technology, according to Amazon's website.

Located at 3620 Long Beach Rd., the Oceanside store opened in July 2022 in a 47,300-square-foot former Waldbaum’s supermarket space.

It is the only Fresh supermarket in New York state.

Amazon 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 Seattle-based 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.
 

With Tory N. Parrish

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