Amazon recently announced its new HQ2 in Long Island City, New York and Crystal City, Virginia, and now the online giant is all geared up with new expansion plans. The company intends to bring its checkout-free Amazon Go grocery stores to top U.S. airports, according to a report by Reuters.
The world's largest online retailer has been expanding Amazon Go, where its advanced shopping technology was developed with the idea to reduce lines at store checkouts. Customers scan their smartphones at a turnstile to enter while logged into an app, and then cameras identify what they take from the shelves. When shoppers are finished, they simply leave the store and Amazon bills their credit cards on file.
Amazon has opened seven of the stores to the public since January, with three locations in Chicago, San Francisco and its hometown Seattle, mostly catering to workers in nearby offices looking for a quick lunch. As of now, Amazon is expected to bring its Go Stores to Los Angeles and San Jose International Airports.
This news also coincides with the web giant’s strategy of dynamic expansion into the retail space. It was recently reported that Amazon intends to test its cashier-less technology to bigger stores.
According to Reuters, Amazon requested a meeting with staff from several airports, including Los Angeles International and San Jose International, referencing Amazon Go as “one of many possibilities we can discuss”. The meetings took place in June, and officials from both airports have confirmed they have had no further correspondence with Amazon since then. They added that it would need to undergo a competitive bid process in order to acquire the locations sought. As for the company's cloud unit, Amazon Web Services, it has been in touch with airports for other purposes. The status of the Amazon Go effort is unclear and the Amazon spokeswoman contacted declined to comment.
Business Insider revealed that a person familiar with the strategy – who preferred to remain anonymous – confirmed that Amazon is actually studying how to get the checkout-free stores into airports. Also, an employee with experience in business development was assigned to the task.