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Loyola opens first store with Just Walk Out technology on a Maryland college campus

Amazon Just Walk Out Opening
Terrence M. Sawyer, J.D., president of Loyola, cuts the ribbon at an opening event on Sept. 1, 2023

Loyola University Maryland announced the opening of the Bowman Express store with Just Walk Out technology on Friday, Sept. 1, 2023, at 1:30 p.m. in Thea Bowman Hall on Loyola’s Evergreen campus.

Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology is designed to be an effortless experience, allowing students, faculty, and staff to enter Bowman Express, pick up the items they want to purchase, and leave the store without stopping to pay. The technology detects what shoppers take from or return to the shelves and creates a virtual shopping session. When shoppers have completed their shopping experience, they are able to leave the store and purchases will be automatically processed and debited from students’ Evergreen cards. Just Walk Out technology allows Bowman Express to operate with extended hours, both staffed as usual and even partially unattended. Bowman Express features the first installation of Just Walk Out technology at a higher-education institute in Maryland and the first Grubhub-integrated installation of Just Walk Out technology, meaning students can use their Loyola University-linked Grubhub accounts to shop at the store.

Just Walk Out technology is made possible by artificial intelligence like computer vision and deep learning techniques, including generative AI, to accurately determine who took what in any retail environment. Amazon built synthetic datasets to mimic millions of realistic shopping scenarios—including variations in store format, lighting conditions, and even crowds of shoppers—to ensure accuracy in any environment.

“At Parkhurst, we provide our clients with innovative solutions to meet the needs of the campus community, and we are thrilled to bring Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology experience to Loyola students, faculty, and staff,” said Larry Orr, vice president of higher education for Parkhurst Dining, Loyola’s food service provider. “We know convenience is a major factor for today’s students as they evaluate their on-campus dining options. This technology will make it easier than ever for them to get the food they need, when they need it.”

"Loyola is proud to partner with Amazon and Parkhurst Dining to offer this dining and shopping experience for our students. We are always looking for ways to bring innovative ideas to campus, and this is a wonderful opportunity for our community,” said John Coppola, vice president for finance and administration and treasurer for Loyola.

Bowman Express offers a selection of products from numerous local vendors as part of Parkhurst’s Local Scene program. Local Scene connects college campuses to their surrounding communities through partnerships with local vendors and small businesses. At Loyola, these partners will include Mouth Party Caramel, Popsations Popcorn Company, and Righteous Felon Craft Jerky.

"We are thrilled to bring our Just Walk Out technology to Loyola University Maryland,” said Jon Jenkins, Vice President of Just Walk Out technology. “With our technology, students will find a dynamic and convenient shopping experience that meets them where they are—day or night—so they can focus on their studies.”