Amazon moves to airports and London to expand checkout-free stores

Photo: VDB Photos /

Amazon is looking at bringing its checkout-free Amazon Go concept to airports, as time-pressed travellers could generate a good turnover. Simultaneously, their interest in London seems to get more concrete.


British capital, American airports

In October the news reached us that Amazon wants to launch its cashierless Go format in the United Kingdom, but now there are signs this is getting more tangible. The retail giant was seen to be measuring store space close to Oxford Circus, one of London’s busiest shopping areas, and also has already patented the brand name Amazon Go in the United Kingdom, as RetailDetail mentioned earlier. Amazon did not react to these rumours.


Moreover, the company is evaluating top U.S. airports for new locations like Los Angeles International, San Jose International Airport and Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. Public records requests to several airport operators quoted on Reuters have revealed that the e-commerce giant is indeed looking for locations for its cashierless chain in these airports. An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment, but someone familiar with the company’s strategy said: “Think about how you can expose your brand. You’ll be able to build broad awareness just being in a dozen of the best airports.” 


The top 12 US airports had over 350 million passengers last year, and they are all potential customers. If Amazon Go stores opens on airports, it can meet new challenges like clearance for personnel, expensive lease tariffs and public bids: everything connected to the bid will public knowledge. How the company wants to deal with that is not yet known.


Checkout-free concept stuck at 7 stores

In the futuristic Go stores, customers scan their smartphones to enter and cameras record what they take. When a shopper is done shopping they leave the store and the company then bills their credit cards. The expansion of Amazon Go started several months ago, and its goal is to open 3000 of these stores within three years.


The company has so far opened seven American Amazon Go stores since the beginning of the year, located in business areas in three cities. People working in those areas do get their quick lunch at the stores, whose turnover per square meter is enormous.