Positive Disruptors

Hudson takes a technological leap with Amazon partnership

Dufry company Hudson is reacting to consumer demand for “convenience, safety and speed” with the introduction and planned roll-out of Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology at North American airports.

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Leading travel retailer Hudson, a division of Dufry Group, has accelerated its focus on digital innovation recently as it adapts its business model to new retail trends and consumer demand.

Key projects include expanding its ‘Tap to Pay’ and self-scanning capabilities, the roll-out of self-checkout and introducing around-the-clock automated retail. Last week it announced the planned use of Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology, a move that will strengthen its digital footprint and enable the company’s first venture into a contactless shopping environment.

There are several drivers behind the initiative, which will debut with a 500sq ft outlet at Dallas Love Field Airport in Q1, before a roll-out in selected North American airports.

Chief among these drivers, says Hudson, is that that travellers are “more connected and time sensitive, and have higher expectations for convenience, safety, and speed.” Today, particularly in response to COVID-19, they are far more attuned to one-click online shopping, an experience that they hope to replicate in-store. Quick and easy checkout systems also fit with the related imperative to keep store staff and travellers safe, it notes.

The need for speed is among the drivers of the checkout innovation

For the retailer, new concept Hudson Nonstop featuring Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology helps address the challenges of retailing to travellers today.

The 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 says 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 in-house ‘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, as purchases can be made at the speed and convenience that best fits their travel schedule”.

The selection of Dallas Love Field as the first location highlights the airport’s strong connectivity and passenger flow, says the retailer, and is the first store with this Amazon technology in the US Southwest. Expect further announcements as this new purchasing and checkout technology becomes part of the shopper experience at more airports in future.

Hudson Nonstop – What they said:

Hudson EVP and Chief Operating Officer Brian Quinn: “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. 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.”

Amazon Vice President, Physical Retail Cameron Janes: “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.”

Dallas Love Field Airport Director Mark Duebner: “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.”

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The Moodie Davitt eZine Issue 290 | 26 January 2021

The Moodie Davitt eZine is published 15 times per year by The Moodie Davitt Report (Moodie International Ltd). © All material is copyright and cannot be reproduced without the permission of the Publisher. To find out more visit www.moodiedavittreport.com and to subscribe, please e-mail sinead@moodiedavittreport.com

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