Amazon reportedly targets airports for checkout-free store expansion

Travelers may soon see Amazon's cashier-less, high-tech store format at airports.

According to the Reuters exclusive report, the online retail giant has been evaluating top U.S. airports as potential new locations for its Amazon Go concept.

A total of seven Amazon Go stores, which use sensors and cameras so that shoppers don't have to check out in the traditional sense when they leave the store, already exist in Chicago, San Francisco and Seattle.

“The lead for Amazon Go requested a meeting,” read a June 27 email obtained by Reuters from a technology adviser who supports Los Angeles International, the second-busiest airport in the country, to a concessions official. “Interested?”

An account manager at Amazon's cloud unit also reportedly asked San Jose International Airport for a meeting and referenced Amazon Go as "one of many possibilities we can discuss."

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Amazon declined to comment to Reuters.

“Think about how you can expose your brand,” a person familiar with the matter told Reuters, on condition of anonymity. “You’ll be able to build broad awareness just being in a dozen of the best airports.”

More than 350 million passengers boarded flights at the nation's top 12 airports last year, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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However, the news agency notes that operating in airports will present other challenges for Amazon Go.

Workers would need a security clearance to staff concessions after security checkpoints, and retail space at airports can be expensive to lease. In addition, many airports are publicly run and require would-be concession operators to put in public bids for retail space.