USA. Dufry company Hudson Group has struck a landmark agreement to use Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology in selected travel convenience stores at North American airports.

Hudson Nonstop – the first Hudson store to implement Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology – will open in the first quarter of 2021 at Dallas Love Field Airport, with additional roll-outs planned for 2021.

The company described the move as “the next phase in its digital transformation journey”. It said it highlights Hudson’s ability “to adapt to new ways of retailing, while understanding and embracing the need to use technology to redefine travel retail following challenges posed by COVID-19”.

Hudson describes the move to adopt Just Walk Out technology as “the next phase in its digital transformation journey”

“Today’s traveller is progressively more connected, mobile, and time sensitive – and they have higher expectations for convenience, safety, and speed during their shopping experiences,” said Brian Quinn, EVP and Chief Operating Officer of Hudson. “The addition of Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology perfectly complements our current digital footprint, providing travellers with yet another quick, secure, and contactless shopping experience that meets their needs.”

Just Walk Out technology allows travellers to quickly enter the Hudson Nonstop store using their credit card, choose items and then walk out of the store, offering shoppers what the retailer said is “an innovative walk-through experience”. After they leave the store, shoppers are charged for the items they selected and walked away with. Customers can purchase grab & go food & beverage, travel convenience essentials, electronics, and personal protective equipment (PPE) under Hudson’s proprietary ‘Traveler’s Best’ line.

Hudson says that the elimination of checkout-line friction for shoppers will appeal to “both the time-sensitive traveller and the deal-seeker alike”

Hudson said that the elimination of checkout-line friction for shoppers will also appeal to “both the time-sensitive traveller and the deal-seeker alike, as purchases can be made at the speed and convenience that best fits their travel schedule”.

“We’re excited to work with Hudson as they innovate in the travel industry and bring convenient, efficient experiences to travellers,” said Cameron Janes, Vice President, Physical Retail at Amazon. “While people are already accustomed to getting what they need on the go at a Hudson store, the addition of Just Walk Out technology will help busy travellers at Dallas Love Field Airport avoid waiting in line to check out so they can grab what they need and make their flight faster. We hope customers enjoy how much more convenient this makes shopping at the airport and look forward to introducing our technology to additional Hudson locations.”

The selection of Dallas Love Field as the first location for a Hudson Nonstop store with Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology highlights the airport’s strong connectivity and passenger flow, said the retailer, and is the first store with the technology in the Southwest. Following implementation at Dallas Love Field, Hudson plans to work with Amazon to expand its use of Just Walk Out technology across additional stores in its North American footprint.

“We are always looking for new ways to expand the seamless and safe travel experience that we’re known for at Love Field,” said Mark Duebner, Director of Dallas Love Field Airport. “The future of airports and air travel is becoming more contactless, so we’re happy to be the first airport with a Hudson store using Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology.”

Hudson’s digital innovation includes the roll-out of next-generation stores and development of contactless transactional capabilities through self-checkout. Last summer, the company introduced PPE vending machines across North America, delivering an automated retail experience around the clock.

As reported, in early 2020 OTG announced its move to bring checkout-free shopping to US airports at CIBO Express Gourmet Market stores with the deployment of Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology — a world-first for airports.