Full opening of first cashier-less Whole Foods in Northwest DC – NBC4 Washington
The first Whole Foods store that does not have cashiers opened Wednesday in northwest Washington, DC
The location at 2323 Wisconsin Ave. NW is technologically innovative – allowing many people to skip the queue altogether.
The store uses “Just Walk Out” technology which allows shoppers to avoid queues. You may have seen it in DC-area Amazon grocery stores, but it’s new to Whole Foods.
Shoppers entering Whole Foods are greeted by a set of doors similar to the fare doors found in a subway station. To enter, shoppers scan a payment method, such as a code in the Amazon app or a credit card linked to your Amazon account. Then the doors open on the fly.
See Inside the First Cashier-Free Whole Foods in Northwest DC
Inside, this one-of-a-kind store looks like your typical Whole Foods store with a hot food bar, salad bar, pizza counter, butcher, and sections for bakery, personal care items, beer and wine. There is also a lounge area
One difference is that shoppers collect the shopping bags first, and then they can put the items directly into the bags. Once shoppers have completed their grocery list, they scan the same payment method at the exit doors and walk straight out the door.
When News4 visited during the soft launch, employees were near the entrance and exit to help customers through the process. It took Whole Foods about two and a half hours to email the link to a receipt – and he had correctly billed all six items purchased, including a 5-cent paper bag.
Self-checkouts are available if shoppers wish to pay with cash, EBY, eWIC, or credit cards that are not linked to an Amazon or Whole Foods account.
The Whole Foods began inviting select Amazon Prime members to visit in late January, but is now fully open to the public, a spokesperson said.
It’s also a big moment for residents who have been waiting for a full-service grocer to return to this stretch of Wisconsin Avenue. The grocery store closed in March 2017 and was locked in a protracted legal battle until the owner and Whole Foods agreed terms for renovation and reopening, our media partners and OMCP reported.
Whole Foods is set to open a second location with “Just Walk Out” technology in Sherman Oaks, Calif. later this year.