Revolutionizing Airport Retail: Fort Lauderdale Introduces Checkout-Free Shopping
Amazon Technology Powers Checkout-Free Airport Shop
In a bid to revolutionize the retail experience, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport has launched its first checkout-free store, The Market at Las Olas. The store is powered by Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” and “Amazon One” technologies, offering a unique and streamlined shopping experience.
The Broward County Aviation Department announced that this store will be the first in any Florida airport to utilize Amazon’s innovative shopping platform. Located in Terminal 3, between Concourses E and F, the store offers items like sandwiches, snacks, sports drinks, and sodas. The technology allows passengers to simply grab what they need and leave the store, with no need to wait in line to pay.
How Does This Technology Work?
Passengers can enter the store using their credit card or by hovering their palm over an Amazon One device at the entrance. The technology is then able to detect what customers take from or return to the shelves, effectively creating a ‘virtual shopping session’. The whole process is made possible through the use of artificial intelligence.
Upon entering the store, shoppers effectively create a digital shopping cart by hovering their credit card or device at the entry gate. They can then select their desired items and leave the store without physically checking out, with payments being processed upon exit.
Checkout-Free Shopping: A Leap Towards the Future
Mark E. Gale, CEO/Director of Aviation, expressed excitement over the collaboration with Amazon and Delaware North, stating that the airport is always eager to explore and embrace new technologies that can enhance the guest experience. Jon Jenkins, Vice President of Just Walk Out technology, AWS Applications, reiterated this sentiment, emphasizing that the technology would provide a fast and frictionless shopping experience for travelers, even those running late for a flight.
This innovative concept, a partnership between concessionaire Delaware North and Amazon, is commonly referred to as checkout-free or checkout-less shopping. However, it’s important to note that this doesn’t mean the items are free. Shoppers still need to pay for their merchandise, but the whole procedure is automated, saving them time usually spent at the checkout counter.
The Road Ahead: Fort Lauderdale’s Future Plans
The Broward County Aviation Department (BCAD) is currently refining its Master Plan Update, which received approval from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Florida Department of Transportation in early 2021. This plan takes into consideration the impacts that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the aviation industry, demonstrating a commitment to adapt and innovate amidst changing circumstances.
While it remains to be seen how this checkout-free technology will fare in an airport setting, this move marks a significant step towards a more efficient and sustainable retail future. As airports often see a high volume of foot traffic, this innovation could potentially pave the way for similar systems to be implemented in other high-traffic areas such as supermarkets and shopping malls.
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