Amazon has opened its first cashierless store outside of the US with a new Amazon Fresh location in London, UK. The store uses the company’s Just Walk Out technology, which allows customers to pick items off shelves and take them out of the store without having to stop and pay a cashier. Billing is handled automatically, but requires customers to scan their Amazon app to enter.
The launch marks a major expansion of Amazon’s cashierless stores initiative. The technology powering the stores, which uses cameras to track shoppers and their purchases, debuted with Amazon’s first Go store in Seattle in 2016. There are now over two dozen Amazon Go stores across the US. Last year the initiative expanded with a larger grocery store called Amazon Go Grocery.
Amazon says its London store, whose existence in Ealing was spotted earlier this week, will stock a range of groceries, and fresh meals. There’ll also be hot food sold under the company’s own “by Amazon” label, which it says are prepared in store. The aim is to offer customers “everything they’d want from their local neighbourhood grocery store,” the company says.
The store opened its doors at 7AM this morning, and will be open until 11PM, seven days a week. It covers 2,500 square feet making it a similar size to the company’s Amazon Go locations in the US, and a lot smaller than its first Amazon Go Grocery store. Additional stores are planned for the Greater London area, the company says.
In the UK, the company is using its Amazon Fresh branding for its cashierless store, rather than Amazon Go like it’s done stateside. Confusingly, Amazon does have an Amazon Fresh-branded store in the US in Los Angeles, but it doesn’t use the company’s cashierless technology, and relies instead on high-tech shopping carts.
Due to the pandemic, the company has a series of hygiene-focused measures in place at the store. Its maximum occupancy is limited to 20 to allow for social distancing, and there’s PPE and disposable gloves available at the store’s entrance.