Amazon will open first cashier-less Whole Foods store in California next year
code again to leave the store and receive a digital receipt. The technology is only available to customers with Amazon accounts, and shoppers without them will pay using self-checkout stations.
Cashier-less technology has been criticized by labor advocates, who fear it will take away cashier jobs. Amazon said that the two stores will employ a number of workers “comparable” to existing Whole Foods locations of similar sizes, but did not give exact numbers.
Adding the technology to Whole Foods is Amazon’s latest step to leave its imprint on the grocery chain. Since the acquisition, Whole Foods has slashed prices, offered discounts exclusive to Amazon Prime members, and sped up home delivery times.
But Whole Foods has lagged Amazon’s booming online retail operation. Sales at Amazon’s physical stores, which are mainly comprised of Whole Foods locations, dropped 0.18% in 2019 from the year prior and then 5.6% in 2020 as more shoppers ordered online in the pandemic.