Amazon has officially opened the doors to its first physical store in the UK offering shoppers its flagship “just walk out shopping” system.
Amazon Fresh, the online giant’s first physical grocery store outside of the US, has now opened its doors to the public in Ealing, London, and utilises the same AI-powered technology as its Go stores.
The 2500sq ft store uses “computer vision, deep learning algorithms and sensor fusion” to automatically detect any items a customer puts in their shopping basket or returns to the shelf.
This allows shoppers to sign in via their Amazon account when entering the store, select their items then simply walk out, paying for items automatically via their accounts when they exit.
Until now this technology has only been available in its smaller Go stores in the US, not its larger Amazon Fresh format which utilises smart ‘Dash Carts’ instead of computer vision to detect items automatically.
The store will stock a selection of its brand new private food brands “by Amazon”, featuring hundreds of products including everyday essentials, fresh fruit and veg, a fresh bakery selection and pre-prepared meals.
A selection of hot food will also be offered throughout the day, offering on-the-go meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Being one of the few stores to be opened during lockdown, Amazon has introduced a range of safety measures, including limiting capacity to 20 and offering PPE to customers at the entrance.
“Amazon Go is an amazing showcase for Amazon’s technology and their ability to disrupt a space with different thinking,” Publicis Sapient’s director of retail Andy Halliwell said.
“The use of cameras and AI to track users purchases is really unique, and the use of automation for the back office of the store is also an interesting way of trying to drive operational profitability.
“The timing for the launch of this new London store, amidst a global pandemic, is near perfect. There has been a wave of investment in touchless technologies over the last 12 months as safety and hygiene became the highest priority for grocers and shoppers.
“The idea of being able to walk out of a store with your daily incremental shop without having to touch a checkout, screen or keypad will be hugely appealing for many.”