Sunday 5 February 2017 4:59 pm

Amazon is looking for shop space in London, according to reports


I report on retail and property for City A.M. I have covered the investigation into BHS and London's housing crisis. You can email me on helen.cahill@cityam.com with tips or commentary.

I report on retail and property for City A.M. I have covered the investigation into BHS and London's housing crisis. You can email me on helen.cahill@cityam.com with tips or commentary.

Tech giant Amazon has reportedly started searching for shop space in central London as part of its move into the grocery market.

Amazon first revealed its ambitions to open grocery stores last December under the banner "Amazon Go". In a video, Amazon said it was using technology to create a shop with no check outs. Customers would simply walk in, take products off the shelves, and leave. The bill would be automatically charged to their Amazon account.

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At the moment, Amazon has a trial store in Seattle. It is not open to the public and is only used by employees. 

However, according to the Sunday Times, Amazon has been scouting for prime central London locations that could be used as Amazon Go convenience stores. In December, the tech firm registered a UK trademark for the Amazon Go stores.

Amazon declined to comment.

The move from Amazon would pile even more pressure on UK supermarkets, which are already struggling to maintain margins due to price competition from the German discounters. With labour costs rocketing due to the national living wage, other grocers will be jealous of a store format that allows Amazon to sell food without hiring as many shop-floor staff.

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