Amazon’s Just Walk Out tech powers new Marymount University c-store

The tech is being used at a new on-campus convenience store at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia.
A photo showing Marymount University's c-store with Just Walk Out tech.
  • Marymount University in Virginia opened an on-campus c-store using Just Walk Out technology.
  • The Amazon-powered tech allows customers to grab items and leave without having to checkout.
  • The university is located in the same area where the e-commerce giant is building its second headquarters.

Marymount University is the first higher education institution to adopt Amazon’s Just Walk Out (JWO) technology in an on-campus convenience store. 

The c-store, called Saints 24 and located in the lobby of Gerard Phelan Hall at the university’s main campus, opened to shoppers on March 9, according to a release from the university. As the release noted, the JWO tech is meant to improve the customer experience by eliminating checkout. Instead, shoppers at the new c-store will tap a credit card when they walk in, grab what they need and leave without having to check out with a cashier. Last year, Texas A&M in partnership with its concessionaire, Levy Restaurants, added three concession spaces at its Kyle Field using Amazon’s JWO tech. 

Marymount University — a private Catholic university — is located in Arlington, Virginia, the same county where Amazon is constructing its second headquarters, HQ2. The first phase of the new headquarters is set to open this year, though Amazon in March said it would delay construction on the second phase of the new headquarters amid ongoing financial woes and shifting strategies for the e-commerce giant.

“Becoming the first university in the U.S. to collaborate with Amazon in incorporating its Just Walk Out technology at an on-campus convenience shop demonstrates how Marymount is leading the way in fostering an innovative and exciting student experience that appeals to the tech-savvy college students of today,” said Irma Becerra, Marymount University’s president, in the release.

The Saints 24 store will offer grab-and-go items such as sandwiches, wraps, salads, sushi, yogurt, ice cream and toiletries, according to the release.

While JWO is available to third-party retailers, the technology is mostly associated with Amazon’s own brick-and-mortar stores, namely its Amazon Fresh grocery chain, Amazon Go c-store and some Whole Food Market locations. Other third-party retailers, such as Hudson Nonstop and WH Smith stores in airports and sports and music stadiums, have more recently adopted the technology, which aims to create a frictionless in-store experience for shoppers. While JWO aims to make that experience better for consumers, Amazon’s recent grocery expansion pause could hint that consumers aren’t ready for the shift in behavior, especially as consumers report poor customer service experiences in retail, as Retail Leader Pro recently noted

“On the surface, making those trips more efficient for consumers using technology sounds like a winning formula, but in reality there both needs to be consumer buy into those concepts and the ability for consumers to easily obtain product information or expertise without a store associate in place,” said Retail Leader Pro chief analyst Elizabeth Lafontaine.