Amazon has reportedly secured retail space in central London as it looks to bring its checkout-free Amazon Go stores concept to a location away from the US for the first time, according to grocery sales publication The Grocer [paywalled].
It’s not clear how many sites Amazon has managed to secure in the UK capital, but it’s the first sign of Amazon’s international convenience store ambitions. So far, there are 10 Amazon Go stores in the US – four in Seattle, four in Chicago, and two in San Francisco.
Amazon Go stores enable customers to grab what they want and leave without ever having to visit a checkout. Consumers enter the store by using a phone to check-in at an entry turnstile and are then free to pick up the items they want, while cameras and computer vision technology is being used to identify and track what they take. When the shopper leaves the store, their total is calculated and automatically billed to their Amazon account.
The potential for Amazon to expand its cashierless stores to the UK first came to light back in May 2017 when the company trademarked several slogans with the nation’s Intellectual Property Office. The buying of retail space in London also supports Amazon’s plans of opening as many as 3,000 Go stores by 2021 – a goal that its planned airport stores will also go a long way toward making a reality.