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U. of Dayton to open Amazon Just Walk Out store

CampusIDNews Staff   ||   Apr 28, 2023  ||   , ,

The University of Dayton will open a cashierless, Amazon Just Walk Out store that enables students to select items and leave without having to checkout at a POS register to pay. Dayton is also working with card system vendor, CBORD on the project to enable students to use their meal plan funds to make purchases.

According to an official university release, the cashierless store will be at the a campus c-store called the Emporium -- an existing location on the Dayton campus that has offered a variety of sandwiches, soups, wraps and other grab-and-go items.

The Emporium will mark the first Just Walk Out location in the state of Ohio. The store will start cashierless operation following a grand-opening on May 1 for UD faculty, staff and students.

University officials say the idea behind the Just Walk Out location is to eliminate lines at checkout and provide shoppers with a more efficient, touch-free experience.

UD is collaborating with its card system vendor, CBORD, on the project to enable students to use their meal plan to fund purchases made at the store.

"We listened to students' requests for longer operating hours, especially later in the evenings along with self-checkout options," says Joan Bauman, Dining Services Executive Director at the University of Dayton. "The collaboration with Amazon and CBORD is the perfect solution to providing students a convenient way to grab food, beverages and other products. The ability to use the student's meal plan was a primary reason we pursued this technology."

The partnership with CBORD also makes Dayton the first college campus to offer Amazon's Just Walk Out technology with meal plan fund integration.

"I'm delighted to see our collaboration come to fruition, as it's a win-win for campus administrators and students," says Rob DeCarlo, CBORD's interim chief executive officer and chief financial officer. "We are excited to work with the Amazon Web Services team to bring this solution to additional higher education campuses in the coming months."

Emporium shoppers will now enter the store using an app authorized by UD Dining Services. The technology detects which items shoppers pick up and return to store shelves and then creates a virtual shopping session.

When a student is finished shopping, they can simply leave the store, with their chosen payment method being charged for the items they remove.

"We are always looking for ways to make the Just Walk Out shopping experience even more convenient, including offering new ways to pay," says Jon Jenkins, Vice President of Amazon's Just Walk Out technology. "We're proud to collaborate with CBORD and the University of Dayton to launch the first store where students can use their meal plan to pay in a checkout-free environment."

In addition to Just Walk Out technology, the Emporium c-store will now offer made-to-order deli sandwiches during regular business hours, grocery store staples, late-night snacks and other fresh and healthy options. The space will also feature vending machines for smoothies, coffee and baked goods.

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