Washington Business Journal: Marymount University opens campus store with Amazon’s checkout-free tech

Washington Business Journal: Marymount University opens campus store with Amazon's checkout-free tech


Marymount University is opening a convenience store on its main Arlington campus Friday with a unique feature — Amazon.com Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) Just Walk Out technology.

The private, Catholic liberal arts university is the first higher education institution to incorporate Amazon’s technology, most often seen in Amazon Fresh grocery stores, in an on-campus store, Marymount spokesman Nick Munson said. The Saints 24 store sits inside the 200-bed Gerard Phelan Hall, in a lobby previously used as a check-in desk and since renovated as a student lounge and store. Chantilly-based Constructure Inc. oversaw the project’s construction.

“Marymount is leading the way in fostering an innovative and exciting student experience that appeals to the tech-savvy college students of today,” Marymount President Irma Becerra said in a statement.

An Amazon spokeswoman confirmed Marymount is the first third-party user of the tech in the D.C. area.

The cost and length of the university’s contract with Amazon is unclear. Munson declined to comment, saying the agreement is confidential. Amazon declined to address the deal itself.

“Marymount is committed to providing students with new and exciting on-campus experiences that cater to their needs, and we’re proud to collaborate on their first checkout-free store,” said Dilip Kumar, vice president of AWS Applications. “Now, students and guests can grab food, beverages and other essentials in a way that is easy and convenient for them.”

Amazon’s checkout-free technology is true to its name, using QR code and overhead camera technology to capture sales.

Just Walk Out technology started in Amazon Go grocery stores, some of which have started to close in cities such as Seattle, San Francisco and New York. Locally, the tech debuted with the opening of the Logan Circle Amazon Fresh in July 2021. Other local Amazon Fresh and Amazon-owned Whole Foods Markets have since launched with the technology.

In the U.S. and internationally the company also offers its tech to third-party retailers. In September, staff of the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority told the authority board that convenience-style stores powered by Amazon’s Just Walk Out were planned for both Reagan National and Dulles International airports

At Saints 24, students will present their credit cards to enter into the store and will be charged for their purchases once they leave, Munson said. The store’s inventory, developed through a survey of Student Government Association leaders, includes sandwiches, wraps, salads, yogurt, sushi, ice cream and toiletries, the university said.

George Washington University uses similar technology for a convenience store located inside its recently renovated Thurston Hall. But it’s not Amazon’s — the technology is contracted from San Francisco startup Standard Cognition by the university’s dining partner.


Read the original story on the Washington Business Journal’s website.