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03/03/2022

Amazon opens grocery store with cashierless option in Illinois

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Amazon continues expanding its Amazon Fresh format.

The seventh Amazon Fresh store in Illinois features “Just Walk Out” frictionless shopping.

Amazon’s newest high-tech Amazon Fresh store is its second located in Naperville, Ill., and its 25th overall. Open as of Thursday, March 3, 2022, the store measures approximately 35,000-sq.-ft.

While the original Naperville Amazon Fresh location, opened in December 2020, offers self-checkout via the Amazon Dash Cart, the new store features Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology.

Just Walk Out leverages a combination of computer vision, sensor fusion and deep learning that enables shoppers to shop the store, pick out what they want and skip the checkout when they’re done. Anyone shopping at the new Amazon Fresh store can utilize the cashierless technology, which connects to their Amazon account or credit card.

Once inside the store, customers can shop like normal. Anything they take off the shelf is automatically added to their virtual cart, and anything they put back on the shelf comes out of their virtual cart. At the end of their trip, customers scan their QR code again to exit.

[Read more: First Look: Amazon debuts new high-tech grocery store]

Amazon is opening its latest high-tech Amazon Fresh location with Just Walk Out shopping about a week after introducing a Just Walk Out-enabled Amazon Fresh store in Moorpark, Calif. and also launching the autonomous checkout experience in its Whole Foods Market division at a store in Washington, D.C. Originally available only in Amazon Go convenience and small-format grocery stores, Amazon then began rolling out Just Walk Out to select Amazon Fresh high-tech grocery locations and also licenses the technology to third-party retailers.

The company now plans to also open a “Just Walk Out”-enabled Whole Foods store in Sherman Oaks, Calif., during 2022. For now, Amazon plans to observe customer reaction to Just Walk Out when it opens the two new Whole Foods locations and then go from there.

Amazon continues opening grocery and convenience stores equipped with self-checkout and automated checkout options as it prepares to close  68 brick-and-mortar stores, including its Amazon Books locations and Amazon 4-star locations, along with Amazon Pop Up sites.

We’ve decided to close our Amazon 4-star, Books, and Pop Up stores, and focus more on our Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, Amazon Go, and Amazon Style stores and our Just Walk Out technology," an Amazon spokesperson told Chain Store Age. "We remain committed to building great, long-term physical retail experiences and technologies, and we’re working closely with our affected employees to help them find new roles within Amazon.”

Amazon now operates 25 Amazon Fresh stores across the U.S., including 11 in California, seven in Illinois, three in Washington state, and one each in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Washington, D.C. Amazon Fresh stores are designed from the ground up to offer a seamless shopping experience, with extra features for members of the Amazon Prime paid loyalty program.