Amazon could be on the verge of opening its first cashier-free store outside of the U.S. after a report claimed the company has secured retail space for a location in central London.
We’ve known for several months that the company is looking to take its Amazon Go store beyond American shores, with a report last year suggesting it was looking at sites in the U.K.
But The Grocer’s report, published over the weekend, suggests the company has now chosen at least one spot in the heart of the capital city, though the specific location and opening date remain unknown.
Amazon Go aims to keep shopping simple, allowing you to just grab what you want and leave without spending any time at checkout. The store is packed with sensors, cameras, and artificial intelligence technology that tracks you as you make your way around, with purchases automatically charged to your Amazon account when you walk out the door.
Seattle-based Amazon currently operates 10 Amazon Go stores across the U.S. — four in its home city, four in Chicago, and two in San Francisco. The first one opened in January 2018, and Digital Trends went along to try it out.
A report last fall claimed Amazon is planning to open as many as 3,000 Go stores across the U.S. by 2021, a move that would surely have serious ramifications not only for existing convenience stores, but also for quick-service food outlets.
Some of the planned Amazon Go stores could be for much smaller sites in places like airports, with Amazon already testing out such a format in Seattle. The trial store, which is currently only open to Amazon employees and their guests, covers 450 square feet, making it around a quarter of the size of its other locations.
Much larger stores may also be on the horizon, giving Amazon the chance to offer a much wider range of items beyond the snacks, drinks, and other basics that its current stores sell. It’s certainly possible that farther down the road, its technology could be incorporated into its Whole Foods stores.
In the meantime, we’re waiting for confirmation of Amazon Go’s London opening, which sounds like it could be just around the corner.
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