[Gizmodo] Amazon Ditches 'Just Walk Out' Checkouts at Its Grocery Stores

Though it seemed completely automated, Just Walk Out relied on more than 1,000 people in India watching and labeling videos to ensure accurate checkouts. The cashiers were simply moved off-site, and they watched you as you shopped.

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Wonder if they can re-introduce this using better grounding instructions to an LLM (currently popular limited AI)

Something like the Laserweeder

Also highly doubt this has been perfected

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Outsourcing the cashiers is actually a great idea, especially in jurisdictions with high minimum wages / employer unfavorable labor laws. The way they implemented the system though sounds like it was too expensive, both on the tech required and the fact that they probably needed multiple people to replace 1 cashier (they have to watch customer shop the entire time they’re there, not just at checkout), and there were probably a lot of accuracy problems.

Realistically, in the near term, the only way a fully automated store would work is if the entire place operated as a giant vending machine with everything packaged in specific size boxes that fit into the vending machine slots. At that point the tech cost + packaging cost would outweigh paying cashiers.

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And you wonder why Seller Support seems a little preoccupied?
:smirk:

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RFID tags on each item would automate the store almost 100%. RFID was something I believe walmart was pushing years ago, but seems like they never followed through with it

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I think those are still somewhat problematic because a bag full of things may or may not scan properly when they walk out through the scanner. You’d also have to have a unique tag on every item, and a database of which tag is which item, and you need to keep track of what items were already paid for, as the same person might come back into the store later on still carrying items they purchased earlier.

If FBA charges 55 cents to put a basic FNSKU label on every product, I would imagine the cost to RFID tag everything and maintain a massive database of every tag wouldn’t be cheap.

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This is the future of retail. It’s been around a long time but was expensive. Costs are coming down, demand will be way up, and the systems are being perfected every day.

$20+ an hour grocery clerks is not sustainable so retail is going to have to move in a different direction.

I might start driving for Uber Eats here in NYC. $19 an hour + Tips. Might be more than I make on Amazon. lol

Stop and Shop by me uses this system where you scan and bag as you shop and check out quickly. They have had this for close to 10 years. Love it. But theft may be putting an end to this soon there too.

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Our local Sams Club has installed scanners at the exit doors which are intended to eliminate the persons standing there checking the customer carts leaving the store.

Sams has the Scan as you go already available and being used so you can skip the checkouts.
All but maybe (and we say MAYBE) two checkouts have clerks and the rest are self check out.

So with these new “towers of power” (our nickname for them), Sams is moving towards … “if you want it, you do the work to get it” … no service store model …

On the other hand, Home Depot continues to put items on lock down while promoting self check out.

Locally, the order on app … store pick and pull … drive up pick up still has a strong following.

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This actually annoys me. I am waiting for the day that I will need someone to unlock the wall so I can get a $1.79 bag of screws.

I noticed they are also shutting down most self checks unless there are staff (one human per 2 self checkouts). I don’t mind self checkout, but when you shut them all down because you don’t trust people, then open up manned lanes again. Simple as that.

Costco seems to have a good balance between self checkout (annoying cause you have to put everything on the scale) or full service with 2 people per full service. I am now going more towards full service just because I can have everything barcode UP and the cashier blows right through the cart.

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I don’t even get this (why stores do this). There are a small group of pieces of crap that are going to shoplift. Nothing you do will stop them, especially when they literally aren’t even stopped when walking out with stolen goods.

Every other visit I made to Lowes, someone is running out with stolen merch in Lowes buckets.

PS - The buckets are stolen too.

They really need to lock those buckets up.

Society is falling apart before our eyes. Makes me sad / mad.

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shutting down self checkout just boosts ecom so I’m all for it

its game theory i’m not on the b&m side

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I will use a bucket if I just need a few things. I’m always asked at self checkout “Are you buying the bucket?” No, but because you don’t believe in baskets, I use what I can rather then stuffing it in my hoodie to carry!

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I am also not against click and pickup, but I can find what I need SOOOO much faster in store then online sometimes. I’m visual, show me a map of the store and I can click and find what I need fast, until I step in one of those strange backwards Home Depots!

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Self checkout is problematic because it’s easy for shoplifters to steal, and problems with the process cause honest people to steal too. I’ve been to stores where items wouldn’t scan for whatever reason, and there would be nobody available to help (or the person who is available has 8 stations to run and half of them have an issue).

If the kiosks had an issue once in a while that’s one thing, but they CONSTANTLY have problems. If you want to rely on an automated system it needs to be more or less perfect.

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Agree :arrow_heading_up: :arrow_heading_up: :arrow_heading_up:

We tend to checkout at either the garden checkout or the builder checkout. There is always a cashier at those two and they will open a second one if needed at the builder end.

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there can be no variable …

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I like the Scan & Go at Sams.

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Amazon Fresh stores will also feature self check out counters from now on, for people who aren’t Amazon members.

…which is funny because Amazon is adding self-checkout at a time when other b&m retailers are limiting or removing them altogether.

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{{{ off in the distance in an Amazon boardroom video call }}} … “but it works so well on the internet side … they do self checkout all the time …”

:smirk:

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Why do they do this??? LOL

I know exactly what your talking about…

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