(Pocket-lint) – According to multiple sources, Amazon is set to reveal its first Amazon Go store in the UK this week. The store seems to be located on The Broadway in Ealing, West London and used to be a Monsoon store.
Planning documents show that Amazon applied for permission to put up signage in November.
We’ve visited the original Amazon Go store in Amazon’s home city of Seattle and can confirm it’s a remarkable experience. There are over 25 such stores in the US and Amazon has long been rumoured to be opening one in the UK.
At the end of 2018, it was suggested that Amazon had settled on a location in London’s Oxford Circus. A subsequent 2019 report by trade publication The Grocer suggested a site had been confirmed, but not a location.
Another report a year ago suggested that the first UK store would be on the site of an old bookshop in Notting Hill, London near Notting Hill Gate Underground station.
The latest report emerged in the Mail on Sunday, which suggested that Amazon was planning up to 30 UK stores and was doing so under a partnership with Morrisons. Amazon already works with Morrisons to provide Amazon Fresh in the UK.
As Forbes points out, Amazon’s foray into UK grocery delivery has been relatively slow to take off – it has about 3 percent of the market according to Mintel – but it is doing some serious business in selected categories. Alcohol sales more than doubled in 2020 according to Profitero, while other traditional high street categories such as beauty, health and personal care are also doing well.
Amazon Go stores use so-called “Just Walk Out” technology, which essentially means there are no cashiers or checkouts. You enter, scan the Amazon Go app at the gate (which is, of course, linked to your Amazon account), do your shopping and just walk out. You’ll be emailed a receipt for your shopping afterwards.
The big UK grocery retailers have also been trialling new tech to skip the checkout including Sainsbury’s trial of a cashierless store in 2018.
Writing by Dan Grabham.