Amazon has reportedly secured retail space in London for its cashierless Amazon Go grocery convenience store concept.
It is not clear how many sites had been secured for the stores nor the exact locations, according to The Grocer.
It follows reports in December that Amazon had reportedly set its sights on a location near Oxford Circus in central London for its first cashierless grocery store in the UK.
The Sunday Telegraph at the time said the new store was being orchestrated by Amazon’s US team, and not by its staff in the UK.
Prior to that, Amazon had reportedly been scouring the UK for a number of retail sites between 4000sq ft and 5000sq ft for its Amazon Go fascia, having trademarked Amazon Go in the UK more than two years ago.
The Retail Gazette has contacted Amazon for comment on the latest development.
Should the speculation be true, not only would the London Amazon Go be a UK flagship, it would also be the first Amazon Go to open outside the US.
Amazon Go is a chain of grocery convenience stores where customers scan their smartphones at a turnstile to enter, and then a number of cameras and sensors identify what they take from the shelves.
When shoppers are finished, Amazon bills their credit cards on file as they leave the store.
Amazon Go first opened in Seattle a year ago and has since expanded with nine other stores around the US.
The online retail giant is also thought to be planning to dramatically ramp up its Amazon Go roll out over the next few years, aiming for around 3000 stores by 2021.
The cashierless chain is not the only push by Amazon to break into bricks-and-mortar retail.
In 2017, it acquired grocery retailer Whole Foods Market, which included a small batch of stores in the UK.
Meanwhile last September Amazon also opened its first 4-star shop in New York, which sells a range of items available on the retailer’s online platform which have a four-star rating or more.
Amazon currently sells food in the UK through its Amazon Fresh, Amazon Pantry and Amazon Prime Now services.
However, according to market researchers Kantar Worldpanel, its UK grocery market share is still less than one per cent.
News Source: RetailGazette