WHSmith has debuted its first checkout-free store this week, after months of rumour. The store, located in New York’s LaGuardia airport’s Terminal B uses Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology.
Users simply have to dip or tap their credit card to enter, before picking up what they want and then walking out. Cameras and sensors detect what is being removed from shelves and by whom, linking that to the customer who scanned in and then charging them digitally once they have left the store.
This first venture for WHSmith – owned by Marshall Retail Group – in North America also marks its first use of Amazon tech. “Opening the first North American WHSmith using Amazon’s ground-breaking Just Walk Out technology at LaGuardia Terminal B is truly an honour,” Marshall Retail Group chief executive Toby Keir said on the release.
“As a Group, we’re always striving to provide the best retail experience for our customers and this new technology allows travellers to shop quickly and with ease during their journey,” he says.
Keir adds: “It’s a hugely exciting time for our business and we look forward to strengthening the retail provision in airports across the US by opening more stores under our WHSmith, Marshall Retail Group and InMotion brands.”
LaGuardia Gateway Partners director of commercial operations Joanne King adds: “We’re excited to welcome the new WHSmith to Terminal B, and with it, another state-of-the-art amenity for Terminal B guests. Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology will give travellers the option to seamlessly grab what they need and go – one more example of the elevated guest experience at the new Terminal B.”
“Airport terminals can be very busy places, so we’re excited WHSmith has equipped their LaGuardia airport store with our Just Walk Out technology,” adds Dilip Kumar, Vice President of Physical Retail & Technology at Amazon. “Amazon’s Just Walk Out Shopping experience is designed to be convenient and effortless, so the new WHSmith store will be ideal for travelers who are in a hurry to pick up refreshments, reading materials, or gifts before or after their flights.”