I'm sure you've at least heard mention of the revolutionary technology that Amazon rolled out early last year where grocery shoppers can grab their groceries and walk out, getting their Amazon account charged later. Such a shop has raised many questions about theft since there are no checkout lines, only workers who stock the shelves. However, similar tech may reach Montana inside Albertson's grocery stores.

What are the Albertson's smart carts?

Think of these shopping carts as a self-checkout attached right to your cart. When shopping with one of these carts, scanners are built right into them so when you put items in the cart, it tracks the item as well as your total price. You can then pay with a credit or debit card right on the monitor on the cart, and walk right out of the store without going through any lines.

These carts, made by the company Veeve, have been rolled out in Albertson's stores in California and Idaho, with the plan to expand the number of stores with these carts in the coming months. Amazon was the first company to introduce this type of technology in 2020, along with their grab and go grocery stores.

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Would Montana Albertson's get these carts?

It's quite likely, considering how often self-checkouts are used. In Billings, for example, most grocery stores have self-checkouts and it's my preferred check-out method when out shopping. In fact, many others agree, as research in 2019 showed that nearly half of all those who took a survey use a self-checkout method on the regular. So, the worker-free model is being used in Montana. Why not bring this awesome tech to the Treasure State?

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It'll be interesting to see how Montanans will react if Albertson's decides to roll these out in grocery stores in Big Sky Country. Will they work? Will they prevent theft? How many jobs could it eliminate? I suppose these questions won't be answered until they are in the stores.

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