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Amazon Signals Global Expansion Intent With Its First Cashierless Store In Grocery Segment

Amazon Signals Global Expansion Intent With Its First Cashierless Store In Grocery Segment
The first ever physical store outside of its home market of the United States was opened by the largest online retailer of the world Inc in the United Kingdom on Thursday.
The new state of the art cashierless store, which the company has christened as "Amazon Fresh" will be opened in Britain, in the London Borough of Ealing, said the largest online market place of the world. This new store will also include a private UK food brand that the company is calling "by Amazon". Customers at the stores will be able to skip the queues at checkouts points because of the cashierless feature of the store.
According to analysts, this latest move to open the store outside of the US is also indicative of the ambition of the Seattle based company to sell food globally through physical stores. The move also reiterates the belief of the company that one of the crucial ways to be able to capture the high spend on groceries by customers is through physical stores – which is crucial for the strategy of the company to become a leader in the grocery segment.
The company has already implemented a strategy to gain market share in the grocery segment in the United States – primarily through the acquisition of the US retailer Whole Foods Market chain in 2017. The company used this new venture to test shoppers' interests as well as through other forms of formats which includes launching of a about two dozen cashierless convenience stores in the country that the company calls called Amazon Go, launching of two Seattle-area Amazon Go Grocery stores that are about four times the size and 10 Amazon Fresh supermarkets in California and Illinois.
The technology and the functioning of the first physical store of the company outside of the US in the UK are similar to the Go stores in the company’s home market. In this new store, customers will be able to open the entry gates of the store by scanning a smartphone app. The physical products that the customers then add to their shopping carts or put back on the shelves will be scanned by a number of cameras fitted on to the ceiling of the store and shelf weight censors. The technology will also get information about their on-file credit cards which will be used to bill what the customers buy after they exit the store. This will eliminate the need for customers to stand in queues for payments and checkout. 
According to the company, prepared meals, some groceries, and Amazon devices will be sold at the new store which will be much smaller in size than a supermarket. Customers will also be able to pick up and return online orders at a counter in the store which has been set up specifically keeping in mind the current pandemic situation.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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