Amazon eyes expansion of check-out free stores at airports

Amazon is reportedly considering bringing its checkout-free stores to airports, further solidifying its foray into the brick-and-mortar retail world.

According to a Friday report from Reuters, the e-commerce giant is looking at “top U.S. airports” for new Amazon Go locations, where customers scan their smartphones at a turnstile to enter, and then cameras identify what they can take from the shelves. Shoppers can take what they want and simply leave the store when they finish. Amazon will then send a bill to their credit card on file.

Amazon could not be reached for comment Friday.

The opportunity could bring immense exposure to the Amazon brand -- more than 350 million passengers boarded flights at the country’s top 12 airports last year, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation -- but also new challenges.

In order to work at an airport, workers need to gain access clearances beyond security checkpoints, according to Reuters. And because most airports are publicly run, they require businesses to put in public bids for retail space.

Some of the airports that Amazon officials reached out to include Los Angeles International, the second-busiest in the country, and San Jose International Airport.

Earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported that the world’s biggest online retailer is testing the technology, which is already in use at Amazon-branded convenience stores, in a larger store format near its headquarters in Seattle.

Amazon is also reportedly considering implementing cashierless checkouts at Whole Foods, which it acquired last year for more than $13 billion.

Amazon is said to be considering a plan to open up to 3,000 cashierless convenience stores by 2021.