SSE Arena, Belfast to set European first with Just Walk Out tech

Images: SSE Arena, Belfast

The SSE Arena, Belfast has claimed a first for an indoor arena in Europe after announcing plans to implement Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology.

Amazon’s frictionless, checkout-free shopping experience will launch at the arena on April 5. The technology will enable guests to buy drinks and snacks faster, allowing them to get back to the event as soon as possible.

The store, entitled Pay & Away, will be located on the first floor of the 10,800-capacity arena, which hosts sport and music events. It is hoped the technology will modernise the arena’s food and beverage offering by “redefining” customer convenience.

Guests will enter Pay & Away by using their chosen contactless payment method at the entry gate, with the technology then detecting what customers take from or return to the shelves, creating a virtual shopping session. When guests complete their shopping, they can leave without waiting in line and their chosen payment method will be charged for the items taken.

The introduction of Pay & Away at SSE Arena, Belfast will mark the first Amazon Just Walk Out deployment on the island of Ireland. The Belfast Giants, which play in the Elite Ice Hockey League, will also become the first professional ice hockey team outside of North America to offer the technology.

Just Walk Out technology has been introduced at several venues across the US and Canada, including TD Garden in Boston, Lumen Field in Seattle, and Scotiabank Arena in Toronto. Major League Soccer franchise Los Angeles FC recently became the latest sports team to roll out the technology.

Dermot McGinn, group head of food and beverage at The Odyssey Trust, which operates SSE Arena, Belfast, said: “Providing the best experience every time sits at the core of everything we do at the SSE Arena, Belfast and we’re continually looking at ways to enhance our offering.

“We’re incredibly proud to be working alongside Amazon to bring Just Walk Out technology to our venue, and becoming the first arena in Europe to introduce this checkout-free concept is a radical next step in optimising the customer journey. Through a blend of convenience and speed, the introduction of this innovative new technology will ensure that our visitors can get back to the heart of the action as soon as possible, both during events and at Belfast Giants home games.”

Jon Jenkins, vice-president of Just Walk Out technology at Amazon, added: “We’re seeing tremendous interest in Just Walk Out technology from sports facilities across the globe for its ability to increase sales and throughput and delight customers. We look forward to hearing how concertgoers and sports fans alike enjoy the convenience of the new store.”

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