Amazon set to open 30 physical stores in the UK

Rachel Sibson
Retail Analyst

Date : 04 August 2020

Amazon has reportedly agreed to a deal to open more than 10 of its checkout-free Go stores, and is in holding talks for 20 more stores, according to reports from The Sunday Times.

Just walk out technology

Amazon Go launched in the US in January 2018, marking the first checkout-free, 'just walk out' store concept to be developed by a major retailer. The Amazon Go concept has since been rolled out to a further 25 locations in the US. Amazon opened its first large format grocery checkout-free store in February 2020.

Amazon’s Just Walk Out Technology automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart. When shoppers are finished, they can just leave the store. Later, they will receive a receipt and their Amazon account will be charged.

According to the report, the first Go site in the UK is expected to open in London this year. This follows reports in March 2020 that Amazon reportedly secured retail space in London’s Notting Hill area for the launch of its checkout-free concept in the UK. The report suggests the majority of sites for these new stores are thought to be near transport hubs.

The news comes after Amazon announced last week it is now offering free grocery deliveries for Prime members through its Amazon Fresh service. This new, simpler proposition comes ahead of the expected launch of its Ultra-Fast Fresh service, (offering deliveries within hours) to almost 40% of UK households. 

It has also been reported by The Sunday Times that Amazon is working to convert vacant units in shopping centres into its 4-Star format, which sells products that are all rated 4 stars and above on Amazon’s website.

Food and grocery ambitions

In the UK, Amazon currently sells groceries through its Amazon Fresh service. On June 30th, it closed its Pantry service to offer a clearer, simpler proposition to convert Prime members.

The new Go stores highlight Amazon's ambitions for the food and grocery market, not only in its domestic market but also in the UK.

Keep up to date with developments at Amazon

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