Several years ago, our physical retail team asked ourselves how we could make the physical shopping experience better for customers. We saw that customers didn’t like standing in checkout lines, which is how we came up with the idea to build Just Walk Out technology.

“We launched the technology first in Amazon Go several years ago and, since then, we’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from customers who love being able to quickly and easily shop and skip the checkout line. ”
Dilip Kumar, Vice President, Physical Retail and Technology

In addition to our Amazon Go stores, Just Walk Out Shopping is currently available at several of our Amazon Fresh stores in the U.S. and the UK, and we also offer Just Walk Out technology to third-party retailers.

Starting next year, I’m excited that Whole Foods Market customers will have the option to save time shopping for groceries by skipping the checkout line at two Just Walk Out technology-enabled Whole Foods Market stores, one in Washington, D.C.’s Glover Park neighborhood and one in Sherman Oaks, California.

What’s new?

In these upcoming Whole Foods Market locations, we expanded our computer vision algorithms to support all of the Whole Foods Market selection people have come to love with the added benefits of Just Walk Out technology. For example, customers at these stores will be able to shop stations with self-service fresh-squeezed orange juice and mochi ice cream, while still shopping with the Just Walk Out experience and without adjusting any shopping habits. We also integrated with Whole Foods Market’s checkout and payment processing systems to accommodate customers who want to either shop with Just Walk Out technology or via the store’s self-checkout lanes.

How it works and how to shop

Just Walk Out technology is made possible by a combination of computer vision, sensor fusion, and deep learning—similar to what you’d find in a self-driving car.

At these two Whole Foods Market stores with Just Walk Out Shopping, customers will be greeted by a Team Member at the store’s entry gates and can then choose if they want to shop using Just Walk Out technology or the self-checkout lanes. No matter how they decide to shop, Whole Foods Market Team Members will be available throughout the store to assist customers and offer expertise in every department.

Anyone will be able to shop these stores using self-checkout, but customers who want to skip the checkout line with Just Walk Out Shopping can enter in three ways: by scanning the QR code in the Whole Foods Market or Amazon app, hovering their palm using Amazon One, or inserting a credit or debit card linked to their Amazon account. Customers who want to use cash, prepaid cards, Whole Foods Market gift cards, EBT, or eWic can use the self-checkout lanes. Once inside, customers will shop like normal and at the end of their trip, they simply scan or insert their entry method again to exit. After customers leave the store, those who use the Just Walk Out experience will receive a digital receipt, which will be available in the Whole Foods Market app.

“Since Whole Foods Market was founded more than 40 years ago, we have focused on finding new ways to surprise and delight our customers and improve the shopping experience. By collaborating with Amazon to introduce Just Walk Out Shopping at these two Whole Foods Market stores, our customers will be able to shop for fresh, thoughtfully sourced products that all meet our unparalleled quality standards, receive exceptional service from our Team Members throughout their shopping trip, and save time by skipping the checkout line. We can’t wait for customers to experience this effortless, convenient new way to shop at Whole Foods Market.”
John Mackey, Co-Founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market

I hope that the combination of Just Walk Out Shopping and the high-quality service from Whole Foods Market will create a really great experience for customers, and I can’t wait to see how customers enjoy it.

FAQs

When is this coming to other Whole Foods Market stores? Will all Whole Foods Market stores have Just Walk Out technology in the future?
For now we’re excited to see how customers like being able to skip the checkout and use Just Walk Out Shopping when we open our doors in Sherman Oaks and Washington, D.C. next year, and we’ll go from there.

Will Whole Foods Market Team members still work in these stores?
Yes, these locations will employ a comparable number of Team Members as existing Whole Foods Market stores of similar sizes. 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.

Do I have to be a Prime member to shop these stores? Do I have to have an Amazon account to shop?
No, anyone will be able to shop at these stores using self-checkout. Amazon Prime members who shop at Whole Foods Market have access to a number of benefits year-round, like deep discounts on select popular products each week and an additional 10% off hundreds of in-store sale items. In order to use Just Walk Out Shopping, customers must have an Amazon account.

Do I have to use Just Walk Out Shopping in order to shop at these stores?
No, if a customer prefers, they can shop these stores using self-checkout. Whole Foods Market Team Members will be available to assist as needed. Customers can also check out at the customer service booth with Whole Foods Market Team Members.

How do you protect customer data?
We understand that how we protect customer data may be top-of-mind for some customers. At Amazon, earning and maintaining customer trust is very important. We take data security and privacy seriously, and any sensitive data is treated in accordance with our long-standing policies.