Amazon May Soon Install Cashier-Free Stores at Top US Airports

Dec 7, 2018

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The world’s third-largest retailer could be simplifying airport shopping for rushed travelers.

Amazon is investigating the possibility of introducing Amazon Go to top US airports. The retail giant’s checkout-free concept would allow rushed travelers to more quickly pick up the items they need by scanning their smartphones at a turnstile upon entry, and then having their purchase selections tracked via in-store cameras. Instead of stopping to pay for their goods individually, customers just grab-and-go, and Amazon bills their credit card on file based on what the cameras registered.

Amazon Go is already a reality at seven stores in cities across the nation, including Chicago, San Francisco as well as Seattle, where Amazon is headquartered. For the most part, current Amazon Go locations primarily serve busy professionals who need to grab a quick lunch.

Public records requests show that several airports, including Los Angeles (LAX), San Jose (SJC) and Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW), have reached out to Amazon to discuss the possibility of implementing the grab-and-go technology. However, initial inquiries seem to be as far as the conversations have gone, and officials from LAX and San Jose both told Reuters that Amazon Go would still have to go through the standard competitive bidding process that all airport retailers undergo.

Meanwhile, Amazon has been tight-lipped about its plans, but entering the airport market would be a decisive branding win for the company. This year alone, 10 of the nation’s busiest airports alone processed an estimated 8.3 million travelers over the Thanksgiving holiday. If Amazon’s checkout-free shopping concept took root in each of those airports, which include all three of the cities where Amazon Go already exists, that would further solidify the major retailer’s hold on American purchasing habits.

Featured photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images.

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