Amazon announced today it will bring its cashier-free checkout technology, Just Walk Out, to a Major League Baseball stadium for the first time. MLB team Houston Astros will introduce the Just Walk Out system to two stores at Minute Maid Park, allowing fans to purchase food and beverages.
19th Hole and Market, two food and beverage stands at the Astros’ home stadium, will use Just Walk out, which relies on A.I., sensors and computer vision to allow customers to shop without checking out, avoiding long checkout lines. Here’s how it works: customers insert their credit cards into the gates when entering the store. By picking up an item, customers add it to their virtual cart. They can place it back on the shelf to remove it from their virtual cart. Customers don’t need to check out; when they leave the store, their credit cards will be automatically charged for any items they took. Attendants will be available at the stores to help with shopping and customers do have to show ID to an attendant in order to purchase alcohol.
“We’re excited to work with the Houston Astros to offer fans a fast and convenient way to shop for their gameday essentials using Just Walk Out technology at the 19th Hole and Market stores,” Dilip Kumar, Vice President of Physical Retail & Technology at Amazon, said in a statement. “Our technology is designed to deliver a fast and frictionless shopping experience, so we’re thrilled to help eliminate checkout lines for fans when they need to refuel during games and between innings.”
“The Astros are proud to collaborate with Amazon to bring their Just Walk Out Shopping experience to Minute Maid Park in 2022,” Marcel Braithwaite, Senior Vice President, Business Operations for the Astros said in a statement. “We wanted to provide this state-of-the-art technology to our fans, giving them a more streamlined and convenient shopping experience so they can spend more time enjoying baseball.”
The ’19th Hole’ store is located on the Concourse level behind Section 156, and the Just Walk Out technology-enabled ‘Market’ store is located on the Honda Club level behind Section 211. Both stores offer a selection of snacks, soda, candy, and ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages, MLB said.
With the addition of these two baseball stadium stores, Amazon continues to expand their cashier-less technology, which is available in Amazon Go and Fresh locations. Amazon began licensing the technology to third-party retailers in 2020. It has since been licensed by U.K. grocery store chain Sainsbury’s and is used in airport shops. Last year, select Whole Foods and Starbucks locations began using Just Walk Out as well.
Only days ago, Amazon announced it opened another Fresh grocery store in greater Washington, D.C. that came equipped with Just Walk Out technology. This followed other Fresh store openings this year including those in Moorpark, California; Naperville, Illinois; and Seattle, Washington, which also featured the technology.