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11/04/2021

Amazon opens high-tech grocery store with ‘Just Walk Out’ in Illinois

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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The newest Amazon Fresh high-tech grocery location opens its doors in Westmont, Ill.

The Illinois market is getting its fifth Amazon brick-and-mortar grocery store, and its first with fully autonomous checkout.

Open as of Thursday, Nov. 4 in Westmont, Ill., the approximately 35,000-sq.-ft. is the largest Amazon Fresh store to feature 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 take advantage of the technology, which connects to their Amazon account or credit card. Customers are prompted at the store’s entry gates to scan the QR code in their Amazon app to open the Just Walk Out gates.

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. In addition to Just Walk Out, the Westmont Amazon Fresh location also provides shoppers with the option of traditional, staffed checkout lanes.

The omnichannel giant now operates 20 Amazon Fresh stores across the U.S., including eight in California, five 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 perks for members of the Amazon Prime paid loyalty program.

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

Services offered by Amazon Fresh stores include direct same-day delivery and pickup services, which will roll out at the Westmont store in the coming weeks. Customers can pick up their orders by visiting the service counter or by pulling up to a dedicated pick-up parking spot. Same-day delivery is free for Prime members. 

Furthermore, the store format offers Amazon.com package pick-up and free packageless product returns, as well as a wide assortment of national brands and produce, meat, and seafood, along with a range of prepared foods made fresh in store every day.

Customers will earn 5% back at Amazon Fresh when they use their Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card or Amazon Prime Store Card at checkout. Low-priced items are available to shop every day—including $0.15 cent bananas; $0.89 cent freshly baked bread; $1.79 freshly baked pizza slices; and $4.97 rotisserie chickens. The Westmont store is also offering introductory deals on a variety of items, such as $2.69 for a 12-pack of Coca-Cola, buy one get one free Lay’s chips (7.5-8 oz.), and 50% all Aplenty products.