Amazon adds RFID support to Just Walk Out stores for 'softline' products like clothing

The technology is rolling out in select sports stadiums.


Between its drone delivery attempts and its Just Walk Out tech removing the need for cashiers, Amazon is trying to make the buying experience as quick and minimally interactive with others as it can. Now, the tech company has announced that it's further expanding Just Walk Out's abilities to support softline merchandise like clothing — particularly fan gear. Amazon is making the jump with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) — a decades-old technology that utilizes radio waves for tracking (typically inventory). While Amazon might be getting into the RFID game late, clothing designers have used the technology for everything from preventing counterfeiting to quicker self-checkout.

Like in other Just Walk Out stores, customers grab their items and pay with a card or using their palm on an Amazon One device. Each piece of merchandise has a unique tag that's read as customers pass through the exit gate — then charging them accordingly.

Amazon tested RFID for Just Walk Out at the Seattle Kraken's Climate Pledge Arena during the last few games of the 2022-2023 NHL season. The tech company decided to expand RFID to the Seattle Seahawk's Lumen Field for the 2023 to 2024 NFL season after being "validated by positive feedback from the Kraken fans and arena officials." This opening marks the stadium's ninth Just Walk Out store — the highest number of any venue. Amazon claims that the first Just Walk Out store at Lumen Field (opened last September) had an 85 percent higher transaction rate and 112 percent better total sales per game during the 2022 to 2023 season, compared to the traditional retailer that previously existed in that storefront.

Amazon launched its first Just Walk Out store in 2018 and has since expanded to 75 Amazon-owned and 85 third-party stores in sports stadiums, airports, college campuses and more. Currently, Just Walk Out tech is only available in the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, but Amazon claims it has "new locations launching every month."