Amazon is removing its cashier-less checkout systems at its Fresh supermarkets in the U.S.

The company announced Wednesday that its Just Walk Out system will be removed from existing and planned Fresh locations, according to CNBC. Instead, Amazon will be using Dash Carts “which track and tally up items as shoppers place them in their carts.”

Amazon Go convenience stores and smaller U.K Fresh locations will continue to use the Just Walk Out technology. Additionally, the company still plans to license it to other retailers, per a statement to Fox Business.

What is the Just Walk Out technology? And why is it being removed?

According to Amazon, the Just Walk Out system allows customers to pay for items without a cashier or self-checkout machine. You would enter the store using the Amazon One payment system, shop for your items and simply walk out. The store’s sensors, cameras and learning tools would catch what you picked out and charge your account automatically.

Despite this, the company’s system reportedly uses more than 1,000 employees in India to monitor checkouts. The system, according to CNBC, still depends on human moderators to not just review transactions, but also “label footage to help train the AI models that make it work.”

Related
Amazon is launching an AI assistant named Rufus. Here’s why

Amazon spokesperson Carly Golden said in a statement to CNBC, “We’ve invested a lot of time redesigning a number of our Amazon Fresh stores over the last year ... and so far we’ve seen positive results, with higher customer shopping satisfaction scores and increased purchasing.”

Golden added, “We’ve also heard from customers that while they enjoyed the benefit of skipping the checkout line with Just Walk Out, they also wanted the ability to easily find nearby products and deals, view their receipt as they shop, and know how much money they saved while shopping throughout the store.”

The Just Walk Out system was a “pet project” from founder Jeff Bezos, who wanted to “get rid of the worst thing about physical retail” — that being wait lines, per CNBC.

After buying Whole Foods in 2017, his company implemented the cashier-less systems to the supermarket chain’s stores. Then in 2020, Amazon added the systems to its Fresh stores, reported CNN.

Related
Whole Foods shareholders say yes to Amazon deal

Amazon has faced some retail difficulties

According to The Verge, Amazon’s branching off to in-person retail stores allegedly hasn’t worked out since acquiring Whole Foods. The company’s “Books, 4-Star, and Pop-up stores” have all closed down over the years, as well as its “Amazon Style” clothing stores shuttering just last year.

In addition, Amazon shut down its last remaining drive-up grocery store — AmazonFresh Pickup — in January, per The Verge.

These obstacles have led the company to pause its expansion of Amazon Fresh stores.

“We’re doing a fair bit of experimentation today in those stores to try to find a format that we think resonates with customers,” CEO Andy Jassy previously said to CNN.