A report in last week’s Sunday Times claims that online retail giant Amazon is looking to acquire sites for cashierless Amazon Go grocery supermarkets in the heart of some of Britain’s best highstreets.
The stores, which use technology tot rack peoples shopping and then automatically bills them when they leave the shop, are already in some US cities and are planned for the UK. Fears are that they would pose a real threat to traditional retail outlets as you would not need to queue making the experience better for customers.
Amazon already has 7 grocery stores in the UK after they purchased Whole Foods Market in 2017. The new stores are expected to be about 4000 to 5000sq ft (somewhere between a Tesco Express and a Tesco Metro store. However, given that they can save space on checkouts and registers, they will be able to hold considerable more product than a traditional store of that size.
Whilst it has not been confirmed as to which the speed of these stores will open, some market analysts believe it could be as soon as December (although this appears unlikely) with a more realist timescale of the middle of 2019. In an already crowded marketplace and people already undercutting or trying to reinvent themselves for more market share, how will Amazon Go get on. Whilst they might not have the market name for groceries, their brand is incredibly strong, and their technological advancements will make shopping easier.
We guess it is time to watch this space. The good news for us is that there will be more need for shopping baskets!