UK – American e-commerce giant Amazon.com will open a cashier-less store dubbed “Amazon Fresh” in Britain that will allow consumers to skip the checkout line when they buy groceries from the store.
Located in Britain, in the London Borough of Ealing, the establishment will be the first-ever physical store outside the United States.
According to a report by Reuters, the opening is a sign of the Seattle-based company’s ambition to sell food globally.
It is also testimony to the company’s belief that physical stores are a key way to capture consumers’ high spending on groceries, a category it has yet to dominate.
In Europe, online grocery shopping has not picked up as much as it has in the US due to a number of reasons.
According to a report by McKinsey, European consumers are not willing to sacrifice the price, quality, and range of products that they’ve grown accustomed to in the supermarket, and they won’t put up with inconvenient delivery or pickup arrangements.
Furthermore, even some customers who are very satisfied with their online-shopping experiences say they view online grocery shopping as a temporary measure and plan to return to physical stores.
Amazon incognizant of this reality has already made a number of strategic investments to ensure it meets the needs of consumers who would rather buy their grocery offline.
In the 2017 the e-commerce giant acquired the Whole Foods Market chain and has since tested shoppers’ interests with an array of other formats.
These include about a dozen cashierless convenience stores called Amazon Go, two Seattle-area Amazon Go Grocery stores that are about four times the size, and 10 Amazon Fresh supermarkets in California and Illinois.
As in the Go stores, customers will 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 on-file credit cards are billed after they exit.
The location, much smaller than a supermarket, will sell prepared meals, some groceries, and Amazon devices, as well as offer a counter for picking up and returning online orders.
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