Amazon signs first deal for its ‘Just Walk Out’ technology

Date : 12 March 2020

Stewart Samuel

Program Director - Canada

Hospitality group, OTG, is partnering with Amazon for its ‘Just Walk Out’ technology. It will be deployed at its CIBO Express Gourmet Markets, a convenience store format developed for travel locations.

Launching at Newark airport

The first sites will go live on March 16 at Newark Liberty’s Terminal C airport, which serves the New York area. It will be followed by additional stores at Newark Liberty and at LaGuardia Airport in the city. Customers will be able to enter the CIBO Express Gourmet Market using a credit card, grab their items and walk out, maximising speed and convenience. The use of a credit card is one of the key differences compared to Amazon Go, where access is enabled by a dedicated app.

Licencing the Amazon Go technology

Amazon signalled its intentions last year to licence its technology to other retailers, launching a dedicated website for this service earlier this month. Over the last two years, the Amazon Go network has grown to 24 sites, with the retailer recently launching the larger Amazon Go Grocery format in Seattle. Since its launch Go, the expectation was that the retailer would look to licence the technology to other operators rather than undertake a significant roll-out of the concept.

Contemporary convenience format

CIBO Express Gourmet Markets is a contemporary-styled convenience store, present in over 100 locations across ten major airports. The retailer offers a curated rage of food-to-go-items, fresh foods, grocery items, health and beauty, gifts and small electronics. Many of its outlets currently operate with a low-touch service model, with many sites featuring self-scan kiosks, overseen by a checkout host. The retailer has been on a journey with its format to create a frictionless experience.

Source: IGD Research

Source: IGD Research

Source: IGD Research

Source: IGD Research

Accelerating industry progress

This technology is particularly suited to travel locations given the time pressures many travellers face. The high traffic locations will also bring the ‘Just Walk Out’ experience to a larger pool of consumers, further driving expectations with regards to fast checkout service in mainstream food retail formats. The expansion of the technology will also accelerate the progress of other retailers, many of which are piloting similar technologies or are developing faster checkout experiences.

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