Amazon plans to use the cashier-free checkout technology behind its Amazon Go stores inside Whole Foods Markets.
In a blog post, Dilip Kumar, Amazon’s vice president of physical retail and technology, said that it will install the technology next year in two Whole Foods stores, one in Washington, D.C.‘s Glover Park neighborhood and the other in Sherman Oaks, Calif. Kumar said it will see how customers in those stores respond to what it calls its Just Walk Out technology before deciding which stores to expand it to next.
The plan is a reversal from years of statements by Amazon executives, who consistently denied any plans to introduce the Just Walk Out technology at Whole Foods. Their denials could have partly reflected sensitivities around the possibility that the technology could eliminate retail jobs, especially those of cashiers.
In his blog post, Kumar said the Whole Foods stores that will have the Just Walk Out technology—which includes cameras, sensors and artificial intelligence software—will have a comparable number of jobs in them as existing Whole Foods stores of similar size without the technology.