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07/13/2022

Texas A&M leverages Amazon technology for frictionless stores

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Amazon One
Texas A&M is bringing Amazon One palm-based payment to its stadium.

Texas A&M University football fans will be able to skip the checkout when they’re purchasing concessions this fall.

Texas A&M Athletics, hospitality partner Levy, and Levy’s design studio, DBK Studio, are jointly equipping three food and beverage stores at the university’s football stadium, Kyle Field, with licensed Amazon Just Walk Out

technology. The three stores, which will be equipped with Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology and Amazon One palm-based payment, are slated to open this fall.

To shop in the checkout-free stores, customers enter by inserting their credit card or hovering their palm over an Amazon One device at the stores’ entry gates. Just Walk Out technology determines what items shoppers take from or return to the shelves, and when they leave, the credit card they inserted or linked to their Amazon One biometric ID will be charged for the items they took, with no checkout required.

When the stores open in the fall, it will mark the first time Amazon’s checkout-free technology and palm recognition service will be used in a collegiate venue, anywhere in the world. The stores will offer products like snacks, chips, soda, bottled water, and age-verified alcoholic beverages.

Sports arenas remove the friction
Frictionless shopping is becoming an increasingly popular offering at sports venues across the country. UBS Arena, home of the New York Islanders professional hockey franchise, recently opened two Just Walk Out-enabled stores. Fenway Park, home stadium of the Boston Red Sox Major League Baseball team, is unveiling the Instacart Caper Counter artificial intelligence (AI)-based POS system that lets customers place packaged food and beverage items for purchase, where they are automatically detected and added to the cart for contactless checkout.

Meanwhile, American Airlines Center is also collaborating with hospitality company Levy and DBK Studio, to open a new Market To-Go store utilizing an AI-based autonomous retail platform from Standard AI and mobile payment technology from SpotOn to let customers shop and checkout with a mobile app.

And Aramark, the exclusive food and beverage provider at Houston’s NRG Stadium, recently opened the venue’s second store featuring Zippin checkout-free technology that enables shoppers to tap a credit card to enter a store and then select the items they want.

“We’re thrilled to work with Levy and Texas A&M to enable a fast and effortless shopping experience for fans when they visit the three stores at Kyle Field equipped with Just Walk Out technology and Amazon One,” said Dilip Kumar, VP of physical retail & technology at Amazon. “Our physical retail technologies are designed to eliminate checkout lines and remove friction for shoppers, and we’re excited to enable fans at the stadium to grab what they need quickly without missing a moment of the game.”

“Texas A&M seeks to always be on the cutting edge of technology so it’s fitting that Kyle Field, Home of the 12th Man, would be the first collegiate venue in the world to feature Amazon’s innovative customer shopping experience,” said Ross Bjork, director of athletics at Texas A&M. “We must always make the fan experience better and I know that Aggies and our customers will love having the ability to avoid the line and get back to the football game as fast as possible.”

“Since we first teamed up with Amazon to announce the first location for Just Walk Out technology in sports in 2020, fans have embraced the offer, and their expectations are at an all-time high for how it can enhance their experiences,” said Andy Lansing, resident and CEO of Levy. “There is no more fitting environment for what will be one of the most extensive and accessible frictionless food and beverage programs in sports to-date than for the 12th man at Kyle Field.”