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Amazon Will Open Cashierless Whole Foods Stores With Cameras Tracking Shoppers’ Movements

Amazon is set to open two Whole Foods stores in 2022 without anyone manning the cash registers, the company announced Wednesday.

The two stores will be located in Sherman Oaks, California, and Washington, D.C., and will use “Just Walk Out” technology rather than human cashiers, Amazon announced in a press release.

Just Walk Out uses dozens of depth-sensing cameras to identify a shopper’s general profile and track them as they move around the store, using sensors to track which items the shopper takes off the shelves. The technology automatically adds items selected off shelves to the shopper’s virtual cart, and charges shoppers for the items when they leave the store.

Just Walk Out was first unveiled in Amazon Go grocery and convenience stores in 2018.

“We launched the technology first in Amazon Go several years ago and, since then, we’ve gotten a lot of great feedback from customers who love being able to quickly and easily shop and skip the checkout line,” Dilip Kumar, vice president of physical retail and technology, said in the press release.

Amazon said the stores would employ the same number of workers as before, but reassign them to roles supporting customers in their shopping experiences. Customers can also still use self-checkout if they prefer.

The company acknowledged data and privacy concerns, and said it would abide by its long-standing policies on personal information.

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