Thursday 4 March 2021 12:44 pm

Amazon opens first contactless grocery store in London

Amazon has opened a contactless bricks and mortar grocery store in London – the first physical shop the tech giant has launched outside of the US.

The Amazon Fresh store in Ealing will carry a private UK food brand dubbed “by Amazon”, and will let consumers skip the checkout queue.

Shoppers will scan a smartphone app to enter the store and ceiling cameras and shelf weight sensors will determine what consumers add to their baskets or put back.

Their on-file credit or debit card will be billed after they exit the store.

The west London store will sell prepared meals, groceries and Amazon devices, as well as offering a counter for picking up and returning online orders.

The opening is a sign of the Seattle-based company’s ambition to sell food globally and its belief that physical stores are a key way to capture consumers’ high spend on groceries, a category it has yet to dominate.

It has developed its strategy in the US, where it acquired the Whole Foods Market chain in 2017.

It has also opened more than 20 contactless convenience stores called Amazon Go, two supermarkets that are around four times the size, and 10 Amazon Fresh stores in California and Illinois.