April 17, 2021

Amazon launches its first cashierless store in Britain

Inside Amazon’s first Amazon Fresh grocery store in Los Angeles.


LONDON — Amazon launched its first checkout-free store in Britain Thursday.

Called Amazon Fresh, the store is located in Ealing, London, and will let customers walk in, pick up what they want and walk out again without having to pay at a cash register.

The items appear on a virtual receipt linked to customers’ Amazon accounts moments later.

It’s Amazon’s first brick-and-mortar store to launch outside of the U.K. The move is in stark contrast to Disney, which announced Wednesday it would close 20% of its physical Disney Stores.

Amazon Fresh uses the same technology pioneered by the tech giant’s Amazon Go stores in the U.S.

First opened to the public in 2018, Amazon Go uses scales, shelf cameras and sensor technology to track items when they’re taken off the shelf.

Last year, the firm launched smart shopping carts that track goods that are added and automatically charges shoppers once they remove their grocery bags.

Amazon’s isn’t the only high-tech shopping experience in the U.K. — supermarkets like Sainsbury’s and Tesco have already tried to replicate Amazon Go’s technology.

The U.S. e-commerce will compete directly with Britain’s grocery chains. It’s also launching a new brand called “by Amazon,” which will sell food at its Amazon Fresh store.

The move comes as Britain looks to gradually lift its coronavirus lockdown restrictions over the next few months. If all goes to plan, the government hopes a full reopening can take place by June 21.

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