American eCommerce giant Amazon is all set to open its first-ever cashierless physical store outside the United States.
The world’s largest online retailer said the store, dubbed “Amazon Fresh,” is located in Britain, in the London Borough of Ealing. It will carry a private UK food brand named “by Amazon” and will let consumers skip the checkout line when they shop.
The opening is a sign of the millionaire Jeff Bezos-owned company’s ambition to sell food globally and its belief that physical stores are a key way to capture consumers’ high spend on groceries, a category it has yet to dominate.
It so far has worked toward that goal in the United States by acquiring the Whole Foods Market chain in 2017 and testing shoppers’ interests with a range of other formats. The company currently operates about two dozen cashierless convenience stores called Amazon Go, two Amazon Go Grocery stores that are about four times the size and 10 Amazon Fresh supermarkets in different cities of the US.
As in the Go stores, customers will be required to scan a smartphone app to open the UK store’s entry gates. Ceiling cameras and shelf weight censors determine what shoppers add to their carts or put back, and their credit cards are billed after they exit.
The store, much smaller than a supermarket, will sell prepared meals, some groceries and Amazon devices. It will offer a counter for picking up and returning online orders as well.