The first cashierless Cibo Market will open on March 16 at Newark Liberty’s Terminal C. Following that, additional stores will open at Newark Liberty and LaGuardia.
To shop at the stores, customers will swipe their credit card upon entering the store, grab what they want and “just walk out” getting charged automatically upon exit.
Amazon announced that it had started selling its Just Walk Out technology to third parties earlier this week, and OTG, to our knowledge, is the first publicly announced customer. Amazon’s Just Walk Out service provides the technology infrastructure, such as cameras, sensors and software, that allows retailers to create their own cashierless checkout stores a la Amazon Go.
We’ve known for a while that Amazon was eyeing airports as good locations for its cashierless retail experience. Anyone late for a flight and stuck behind an indecisive traveler struggling over which Tic-Tac flavor to get can grok the appeal of grabbing what you want from the shelf and going. What remains to be seen now is what kind of mix between first-party Amazon stores and third-party stores like Cibo Market Amazon will pursue.
One thing is for sure: the airport retail experience is on the cusp of major changes, especially when it comes to food. In addition to cashierless retail, airports are also prime locations for the new wave of automated vending machines. Briggo partnered with SSP America to open up 25 robot barista locations at airports. Cafe X has its robot coffee at two Bay Area airports, and Yo-Kai Express has installed its first ramen machine at SFO.
All these services are coming online, though, at a time when the coronavirus is keeping many people from traveling. Hopefully these startups have stockpiled enough cash to weather this storm.