E-commerce giant Amazon has announced that it will discontinue the use of cashierless Just Walk Out technology at its Fresh grocery stores.  

Bloomberg reports that the decision comes as the company plans to remodel its existing Fresh stores and open new locations during 2024.

Amazon first introduced the Just Walk Out system in 2018 at the 10,400ft² Amazon Go Grocery store near its Seattle headquarters.  

The concept promised a seamless shopping experience. Amazon Prime members could enter the store with a QR code, pick their items and leave without traditional checkout processes.  

Cameras and sensors tallied their purchases and customers were billed later through their Amazon account.

But despite its futuristic appeal, the technology has faced significant challenges.

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Its installation and maintenance costs are high, which is believed to be one of the reasons why the technology was only partially implemented. Of the 40 large-scale Amazon Fresh stores in the country, only 27 use it, according to a New York Post report. 

Privacy concerns, mismanaged orders and delays in sending out receipts after purchase have also caused problems.

The cameras and sensors can collect biometric data, and a class action lawsuit in New York has accused Amazon of improperly collecting this from consumers. 

It is alleged that 1,000 human operatives in India have been scanning the camera feeds to ensure accurate checkouts. 

Amazon will remove the Just Walk Out system from larger Fresh stores, but it will continue to be a feature in Amazon Go outlets and smaller-format Fresh shops in the UK.  

The company is also planning to continue licensing the technology to other retailers. 

The Information was the first to report on the discontinuation of the Just Walk Out technology in Amazon Fresh US stores. 

Amazon recently unveiled a new application for its Amazon One service – a contactless palm recognition system that enables customers to hover their palm over the device to make payment.