Amazon is set to launch the UK’s first physical Amazon Go convenience store this week as it seeks to disrupt the country’s grocery sector.
Amazon Go will debut its first store outside of the US in Ealing, West London this week with more stores to follow soon.
According to the Mail on Sunday the high-tech store, which uses AI sensors to automatically track which items you put in your basket, will be stocked by long-time collaborator Morrisons in the UK.
Speculation surrounding Amazon Go in the UK has been rife since August 2020 when the online giant finalised a deal with landlords to open 10 Go stores, but gave no prospective date for their arrival.
Amazon is understood to have penned deals to open a further 20 Go stores in the UK, most of which will reportedly be near transport hubs.
Alongside its plans to dramatically disrupt the UK’s grocery market with 30 Go stores, reports also suggest that Amazon’s Bookstore and 4-Star brands could soon open in vacant stores across the UK’s shopping centres.
Shoppers are able to simply sign into the Amazon Go app when entering the store, then shop freely without ever having to visit a checkout during their visit.
An array of AI-powered sensors installed around the store will detect when each shopper places an item in their basket or takes it out, and will charge their accounts directly when they exit the store.
While UK supermarkets like Sainsbury’s and Tesco have introduced scan-and-go technologies rapidly during the pandemic to encourage contactless shopping, the astronomical costs of installing this Amazon Go-style technology mean it is unlikely to be seen anywhere else in the near future.
Reports suggest that the cameras, sensors, machine tracking and other systems cost around $1 million alone to install, making it financially unfeasible for traditional grocers who operate on razor-thin margins.