The Fresh outlets come as the grocer plans to open a checkout-free store in Holborn, just 120 yards from Tesco’s first public checkout-free store, GetGo
Amazon is set to open two new supermarkets, following on from the launch of its first UK Fresh store earlier this year.
New ‘Just Walk Out’ supermarkets will open in East Sheen and Chingford between now and Christmas.
The Fresh outlets come as the grocer plans to open a checkout-free store in Holborn, just 120 yards from Tesco’s first public checkout-free store, GetGo.
All three stores are being prepared this month, and will take Amazon’s total UK store count to nine – or 10 if you factor in its London-based hair salon.
The retailer said it “looks forward to opening additional stores in the Greater London area”.
The first Fresh store in Ealing was the company’s first supermarket outside America – it uses smart technology to allow customers to simply shop and walk out without any queues.
The store is just 2,500 square foot – the size of a convenience store – and its motto is to supply quick produce for busy consumers, including already-prepared meals, fresh groceries, and Amazon devices.
It has an “Our Selection” sub-brand for “premium” lines including desserts while other items come from Morrisons and Booths, supermarkets with whom it has pre-existing ties.
The store – the first of many in the UK – also has a click and collect counter for Amazon online orders.
To enter, shoppers must scan a smartphone QR code to open the store’s gates.
Their purchases will then be monitored using highly sensitive sensors and cameras.
The shopper will then be billed automatically once they walk out of the store via the card registered on their Amazon account.
Amazon has also opened two Amazon ‘4-star’ branded physical stores.
The first of the stores opened in Bluewater Shopping Centre, Kent, in early October, with the second launching this week in Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherd’s Bush.
The stores carry a “highly curated selection” of around 2,000 products – including electronics, toys, games and books.
Amazon’s Matt Birch said it offered a “super fast, friction free way to shop”.
But the online behemoth’s decision to enter the physical retail space has not come without criticism.
Experts argue its till-less approach will fast track job cuts and could threaten “considerable” job losses if rivals follow suit.
Rival supermarkets will be watching it closely, with some already trialling till-less stores.
Clive Black, an analyst at Shore Capital, warned it would have a huge impact on jobs if others follow suit.
“This is a cashless and cardless operation so think of all the people that affects, not just in stores but in banks too?,” he said.
“It is absolutely going to lead to a considerable reduction in roles for people at head office and in branches.”