Amazon is eyeing airports as locations to expand its Amazon Go cashierless store concept, and has had contact with officials from at least three U.S. airports serving major metropolitan areas, according to a Reuters report.
Amazon contacted representatives of Los Angeles International Airport and San Jose International Airport in recent months, in the first case for a meeting related to Amazon Go, and in the second case for a meeting in which Amazon Go was one of multiple subjects up for discussion, the Reuters story stated. An official with Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport also initiated contact with an Amazon Go executive, suggesting that the airport was interested in becoming home to the first Amazon Go airport opening, according to the Reuters report.
Amazon is also plotting its first Go store abroad, in London's West End shopping district, anonymous industry sources told The Telegraph.
Amazon opened its first Amazon Go store in Seattle 11 months ago, and in roughly the last three months or so has opened six more locations. Reports have suggested that Amazon is thinking of opening up to 3,000 Go stores by 2021, including one reportedly opening in London's Oxford Circus — the first Go store to open outside the U.S.
Airports represent an intriguing target for a new store concept still in its early stages of evolution. They represent a captive audience — one that is continually getting refreshed with every flight — heightening the potential for new traffic to constantly be coming through the doors. People coming off long flights or about to board the same likely would be interested in the fresh prepared meals that have been a defining offering off Amazon Go stores thus far.
Although airport locations could also present some challenges. In most cases, Amazon would reportedly have to participate in a competitive bidding process, and it might not have the control over timing and overall expense of opening such locations that it probably likes to have. Available airport locations also might be smaller than the typical Amazon Go location the public has seen so far.
The incidents of contact between Amazon and airport officials that were uncovered by Reuters through public information requests do not necessarily mean Amazon is pushing forward on an airport strategy. The e-commerce giant may be on a fact-finding mission by inquiring about the process for obtaining space and testing the enthusiasm of the potential for future stores.