Amazon Brings ‘Just Walk Out’ Tech to Apparel Retailers

Amazon has gone from “Just Walk Out” to “Just Wear Out.”

The retail giant on Tuesday (Sept. 19) announced an expansion of its Just Walk Out technology — its checkout-free shopping tool — upgrading an offering first designed for items like food and beverages and applying it to apparel sellers.

“At computer vision-based checkout-free stores, products are arranged on shelves or tables so the system can see which items are being taken,” Jon Jenkins, vice president in charge of Just Walk Out wrote on the company blog. 

“This means products like clothing need to be packaged in bags or boxes — but that’s not always the way people shop for soft goods.”

Shoppers, he added, want to see clothing on hangers, feel the fabric and try them on, and may also possibly put them back on other shelves.

But with the addition of radio-frequency identification (RFID), customers can now “grab clothes, hats, shoes, and more — and simply walk out of the store through an exit gate (even while wearing their purchases) by tapping their credit or debit card, or hovering their palm over an Amazon One palm recognition device,” Jenkins said.

Amazon says it piloted the system at Climate Pledge Arena, home to the Seattle Kraken hockey team, earlier this year. Seeing success, the company is expanding the program to Lumen Field, where Seattle’s Seahawks play, for the 2023-2024 football season.

PYMNTS wrote last week about how Loyola University Maryland is using Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology to drastically increase its ability to meet student demand for food and essentials at virtually all hours of the day.

Mike Mansfield, the university’s associate vice president of auxiliary operations, told PYMNTS that the school’s convenience store is available in an area on campus without many other dining options. He added this technology has dramatically upped the hours this location can serve.

“One of the things that we were trying to overcome was the ability to offer students snack and sundry type items for longer hours in the day,” Mansfield said. “So we had a store in that facility that was open five days a week for about six hours a day, and now we’re able to have it open seven days a week, 20 hours a day.”

PYMNTS Intelligence finds a continued demand among consumers for self-checkout, with 85% saying this method is faster than waiting for a cashier, and 60% saying they prefer self-checkout to interacting with a cashier.