Amazon-powered convenience store opens at Virginia college


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Dive Brief:

  • A convenience store using Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology opened on Friday at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, according to an emailed press release from Amazon.
  • The location is the first university c-store in the U.S. to use Amazon’s frictionless checkout technology, joining companies like Standard AI in updating on-campus retail locations. 
  • Amazon expanding its proprietary technology to U.S. retailers coincides with the company pulling back on its own retail operations, as the company recently revealed it’s shuttering eight of its Amazon Go c-stores at the end of March.

Dive Insight:

While Amazon sorts through various challenges among its physical store operations, including its Fresh and Go brands, it’s continuing to roll out its Just Walk Out technology to new retail sites across the country.

The technology allows customers to scan a credit card at the entrance, take what they want and walk out. The store’s sensors and computer vision track what each person takes or puts back and charges their card when they leave.

The Marymount University c-store — known as Saints 24 — is open 24 hours, according to a university spokesperson. It sells a variety of items based on feedback from the university’s Student Government Association, including fresh-made sandwiches, wraps, salads, sushi, yogurt and ice cream, along with toiletries, feminine hygiene products and other non-food items.

“Becoming the first university in the U.S. to collaborate with Amazon in incorporating its Just Walk Out technology at an on-campus convenience shop demonstrates how Marymount is leading the way in fostering an innovative and exciting student experience that appeals to the tech-savvy college students of today,” said Dr. Irma Becerra, president of Marymount University. 

Marymount’s Saints 24 store is located in the lobby of the university’s Gerard Phelan Hall. A grand opening is scheduled for April 20. 

In December, Community Groceries in Kansas City became the first non-Amazon retailer to incorporate Just Walk Out technology. The store, which focuses on healthy foods and aims to serve underserved communities, also integrated Amazon One, the company’s palm-scanning identification technology, into its store operations. 

Experimentation with frictionless checkout technology continues across the convenience store industry. In addition to Standard AI, Choice Markets’ Choice Now technology runs its store on The University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Grabango has made multiple inroads into the sector, with its technology in Mapco, ExtraMile and Coen locations, among others.


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