Amazon Go grocery stores will hit the UK high streets by the end of the year as the online giant enters negotiations for 30 sites across the country.
Amazon has reportedly finalised a deal to open 10 of its high-tech cashierless Go grocery stores in the UK, according to The Sunday Times.
The first store is expected to open by the end of the year, and Amazon is understood to be engaged in talks to open a further 20, most of which are understood to be situated near transport hubs.
Meanwhile Amazon is also in talks to open its other physical store franchises, including its Amazon Bookstore and 4-Star brands, in vacant stores across the UK’s shopping centres.
This suggests a big push into the UK’s grocery market, which like Amazon has enjoyed record performance during lockdown, and would see the country become its largest physical grocery market behind the US.
It follows news last week that Amazon is scrapping grocery delivery charges for its Prime customers in the UK.
Influential retail analyst Richard Hyman believes this move will cause “major disruption” in the UK online grocery market, which has undergone rapid and radical change during lockdown.
“A new kid in town with the immediate muscle of the others, and no need to make money, and the best data-driven logistics in retail has been the incumbents’ nightmare for some time, and it’s about to come true,” he said.
Amazon’s Go stores use cameras and sensors to detect when a shopper has put items in their basket, and will charge their Amazon account automatically without them having to que or pay physically.