On Wednesday, Amazon announced that it would be bringing “cashierless” technology to Whole Foods in 2022. To start, the company’s “Just Walk Out” service will be implemented in two locations, Washington, D.C. and Sherman Oaks, California. If successful, the program could be expanded to other stores in the following months.
“Since Whole Foods Market was founded more than 40 years ago, we have focused on finding new ways to surprise and delight our customers and improve the shopping experience,” Whole Foods Market Co-Founder John Mackey said.
“By collaborating with Amazon to introduce Just Walk Out Shopping at these two Whole Foods Market stores, our customers will be able to shop for fresh, thoughtfully sourced products that all meet our unparalleled quality standards, receive exceptional service from our Team Members throughout their shopping trip, and save time by skipping the checkout line.”
Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” service allows shoppers to tap their phone on the way in, grab what they need and walk out. While convenient for shoppers, Amazon workers have repeatedly stated that this service will eliminate jobs.
“Amazon is bringing its ruthless anti-worker playbook to the grocery industry with the expansion of these stores, and our country’s essential workers and the families they serve will be the ones who pay the price. This pandemic has made clear that our country’s grocery workers are essential as we have looked to our neighborhood supermarkets to protect access to the food we need during this crisis,” UFCW International President Marc Perrone said.
“With Amazon continuing to push its job-killing ‘cashierless’ technology at these stores, it’s clear that these markets will also represent a threat to the local economies across the country.”
In response, Amazon has claimed that “cashierless” Whole Foods locations will “employ a comparable number of team members as existing Whole Foods stores of similar sizes.” The company also claims that “cashierless” service will allow workers to “spend even more time interacting with customers and delivering a great shopping experience.”