The US retail giant has called off the search for new locations for its convenience stores, and walked away from talks on dozens of sites, according to a source who spoke to The Sunday Times.

Amazon opened its first checkout-free convenience store in Ealing in March last year, its first physical retail site outside North America.

The stores allow customers scan their phones on arrival, fill their bags with products and leave without any interaction with staff or a self-checkout machine.

The rollout has now reached 19 locations – a rate of more than one opening a month – all in London apart from the latest in Sevenoaks, Kent.

The weekend report said sales at the stores had “fallen short of expectations”.

In November last year, an internal document obtained by Business Insider found Amazon was planning an estate of more than 260 Fresh stores in the UK by 2025.

Amazon has said: “We currently have 19 Amazon Fresh stores open in the UK and look forward to opening additional stores in the near future.”

Despite the current tough period for Amazon – which has seen e-commerce sales decline for two quarters in a row – the company’s physical store sales are growing.

In a July earnings update sales at stores – which include Whole Foods Market, Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go – increased by 12.5% in Q2 versus the same quarter in 2021, reaching just over $4.7bn.

However, the retailer is having to work within an environment where price is increasingly more of a priority for consumers than convenience.

In a bid to boost footfall, last month Amazon Fresh stores offered all Amazon Prime members a 25% discount on its in-store shops.

“The challenge for all autonomous, checkout-less stores is to get people to try them, and try them a couple of times,” said Kien Tan, senior retail adviser at PwC UK. “Before they’ve tried it, people don’t realise it’s simple and convenient and easy. You have to get people through the door to do that.”