News & Politics

Whole Foods Will Test Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” Tech at DC Store

The Glover Park store will be one of two in the country where customers can pay with their palms.

The Glover Park Whole Foods will reopen with parent company Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology, the grocery chain announced Wednesday. The tech, already in use at Amazon Fresh stores, identifies customers when they enter, then senses when people take items of the shelves and places them in a “virtual cart” that charges customers as they leave. The system will deduct an item from your cart if you put it back, the company says, and it will also work with self-service items like fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Whole Foods will know who you are after you hold your palm over a reader, scan a QR code with an Amazon or Whole Foods app, or insert a card linked to your Amazon account. If you want to pay with cash, gift cards, or eWic or EBT, you can still check out in the self-checkout lanes. Whole Foods promises employees will be around to help.

The Glover Park shop has been closed since 2017 and its reopening date has been a source of speculation for months.

 

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Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute, TBD.com, and Washington City Paper. His book A Bigger Field Awaits Us: The Scottish Soccer Team That Fought the Great War was published in 2018. He lives in Del Ray.