Amazon Fresh opens in Oceanside

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Grocery stores have come a long way in America from the invention of the modern-day shopping cart in 1937, the introduction of the standardized bar code system in 1952 and the installation of the first price scanner in 1974. However, one of the industry’s biggest leaps forward arrived in Oceanside, July 14, with the grand opening of a store called “Amazon Fresh,” that allows customers to pay for their items without ever visiting a cashier or a self-checkout machine.

To use the e-commerce giant’s patented technology dubbed the “Just Walk Out” system, the customer scans the “In-Store Code” within the Amazon app on their smartphone, registered handprint or credit card associated with their Amazon account inside the store’s lobby. Any of these options opens the in-store turnstile, allowing the customer to enter the store create their “virtual cart.”

Store Manager Charlie Chacon explains the rest.

“We have sensors throughout the building hanging from the ceiling that detect motion and also have sensors on the shelving that can detect the slightest weight disbursement,” Chacon said. “Linking those two items together adds the item to the virtual cart for the shopper and when he or she leaves with their items, it charges the card associated with their Amazon account.

Chacon added that the store also does however also offer regular checkout lanes staffed with cashiers and the ability to pay with cash for more traditional shoppers.

Additionally, the store is equipped with several “Alexa,” Amazon’s virtual assistant, kiosks which customers can use to ask for assistance with tasks such as finding a specific item in the store, what the store’s weekly sales are, what foods pair well together and where the restroom are located, to name a few.

This story will be expanded in the July 21 edition.