Amazon opens first UK ‘walk in, walk out’ store – totally till free
Amazon has opened its new grocery store format in the UK. The site in Ealing, West London features the ‘just walk out’ technology developed for its ‘Go’ format in the US but will operate under the ‘Fresh’ banner.
The 2,500 sq. ft. store stocks hundreds of new ‘By Amazon’ own label items such as milk and bread, and some ‘Our Selection’ premium lines, all sourced from UK suppliers. These new ranges will soon be available online as well.
There are also branded products and items that come from Morrisons and Booths, with whom Amazon has pre-existing ties through its online grocery operation. And the store will also sell some of Amazon’s technology devices.
Reflecting its relatively small size, the store’s range focuses on convenience with food-to-go, ready meals, and everyday essentials.
To enter the Amazon Fresh store, shoppers have to scan a QR code on a smartphone app. They then place items in their bag and are automatically billed when they leave. A receipt is then emailed to the customer.
As developed for its Go format that launched in 2018, the store in London features hundreds of cameras and sensors that detect what the shopper has chosen.
Amazon’s “computer vision, deep learning algorithms, and sensor fusion” technology removes friction altogether with recent advances meaning its system can now cope with customers selecting specific variants. The store also contains an area where Amazon online orders can be collected. And customers can return goods by scanning a code without having to repackage or relabel the item. “Hand the product over and we’ll do the rest for you,” said Birch.
Hi-tech grocery stores
Amazon confirmed it plans to open more hi-tech grocery stores on high streets in London, and look at other city centre locations.
Amazon also operates seven standard supermarkets in the UK under its Whole Foods Market brand.
In the US, Amazon operates 26 Go convenience stores, two Go Grocery stores, 10 Amazon Fresh supermarkets and more than 470 Whole Foods Market stores.