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Amazon Targets Airports for Checkout-Free Store Expansion

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Amazon .com is looking at bringing its futuristic checkout-free store format to airports in an effort to win business from hungry, time-pressed travellers, according to public records and a person familiar with the strategy.

The move underscores how a company that started as an online bookseller is making forays into brick-and-mortar retail to capture a greater share of shoppers’ spending.

For months, the world’s largest online retailer has been expanding Amazon Go, where customers scan their smartphones at a turnstile to enter, 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: in Chicago, San Francisco and its hometown Seattle, mostly catering to workers in nearby offices looking for a quick lunch.

Amazon is evaluating top US airports for new locations, according to public records requests to several airport operators.

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

“Yes. Thanks!” the concessions official replied.

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