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Grocer becomes first non-Amazon store to use Fresh tech

The recently re-opened Community Groceries is the first third-party grocer to leverage Amazon’s payment systems

A grocery store in Kansas City has become the first outside of Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods to implement Amazon’s frictionless payment technologies.

The retailer, Community Groceries, which recently re-opened in the city’s Crossroads district in December, has collaborated with Amazon to equip its store with Just Walk Out technology and Amazon One check out — the palm-recognition service that allows customers to use their hand for entry, identification, and payment.

Just like at an Amazon Fresh location, shoppers can enter Community Groceries by swiping their credit card at the entry gates or hovering their palm over an Amazon One device.

Once inside, the technology detects what customers take from or return to the shelves. Customers can leave the store after completing their shopping, with the credit card they inserted or linked to their Amazon One ID charged for the items.

Community Groceries, which has a focus on healthy and organic foods and supporting local, said in a statement that it wanted to change the customer experience and bring something innovative to the Kansas City area. The company’s goal, it said, is to provide healthy options in underserved communities. 

“It enables us to see a lot of metrics we wouldn’t see in the traditional sense, and we are able to use the data,” Community Groceries owner Kortney Lee told the Kansas City Star. “We are also able to pass that information along to the small business owner to help them track sales and trends.” Lee said Community Groceries will only keep data on items sold and not retain shoppers’ personal information and is also using the technology to streamline the shopping experience.

Kansas City television station KSHB reported that Community Groceries spent three years working with Amazon before installing the system.

“We are thrilled to work with Community Groceries to unlock a fast and frictionless experience for their shoppers in Kansas City—one we believe they’ll enjoy very much,” Dilip Kumar, vice president, Amazon Web Services Applications, said in a statement.

“Community Groceries is renowned for encouraging healthy lifestyles and focusing first and foremost on their local community, so we’re honored to have them as our first customer in the grocery vertical to launch a Just Walk Out technology and Amazon One-enabled store,” Kumar added.

Though Community Groceries is an example of a recently opened store using Amazon’s tech, Amazon Fresh hasn’t opened a new outlet since September.

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