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Sainsbury’s Deploys Amazon Just Walk Out Technology in London C-Store

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In the first usage of Amazon’s Just Walk Out (JWO) technology by a non-Amazon international retailer, Sainsbury’s has deployed the cashierless solution in its Holborn Circus convenience store. In another first, customers access the checkout solution via the Sainsbury SmartShop app rather than the Amazon app, meaning they can use an interface they already are familiar with.

Sainsbury’s, one of the UK’s largest supermarket chains, had piloted a cashierless customer experience at this store using its own technology in 2019. The store will continue to be staffed with Sainsbury’s employees who will answer shopper questions, check IDs for alcohol purchases and restock shelves.

“Our work with Sainsbury’s means that they have become the first international business customer of Just Walk Out technology,” wrote Dilip Kumar, VP of Physical Retail and Technology at Amazon in a blog post. “The opening of the SmartShop Pick & Go also marks the first time Amazon has retrofitted a store with Just Walk Out technology, meaning the store uses Sainsbury’s existing fixtures and fittings with our technology.

“It’s the first time we’ve enabled a business customer to use their own app to manage store entry, exit, receipts and payments for shoppers,” Kumar added. “The integration enables Sainsbury’s to leverage existing systems, and their shoppers are able to use the Sainsbury’s app they’re already accustomed to.”

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Amazon announced that it would make its JWO technology available to other retailers in March 2020, and deployed the technology at an Amazon Fresh store in June 2021. The company plans to equip two of its Whole Foods stores with cashierless solutions in 2022.

In the convenience vertical, CIBO Express Gourmet was the first non-Amazon retailer to use its JWO tech, beginning in March 2020, and Hudson announced plans to implement the technology at select stores in January 2021.

Amazon’s development and deployment of its cashierless solutions, which use ceiling-mounted cameras, computer vision and shelf weight sensors, sparked other companies to develop their own technologies. A checkout-free Chartwells convenience store debuted in November 2020 at its University of Houston location using technology from Standard.

Another solution provider, Zippin, has been aggressive with international deployments, including a trial by Japan’s Koyo Group announced in February 2021. This followed the 2019 rollout of checkout-free technology by Brazilian retailer Lojas Americanas S.A. for its Ame Go convenience stores.

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