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British launch for Amazon Go rumoured

11 October 2018 - 12:15 by Graham Miller

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E-commerce giant Amazon made waves when it introduced its latest real-world retail scheme in the US.

Known as Amazon Go, the stores aim to combine the immediacy of a bricks and mortar supermarket with the convenience of carrying out safe shopping online. There are no checkouts, with customers simply being charged for what they take from the shelves as they visit.

Now the Times reports that these stores are on the way to the UK, with Amazon allegedly on the lookout for retail locations that will be of a suitable size for its ambitious project.

Experts have pointed out that now is perhaps the perfect time for Amazon to blend its established foothold in the world of safe shopping online with a presence on the high streets of Britain. With stores closing across the country, there is a wide selection of potential properties into which an Amazon Go outlet could be inserted, although doubtless the first examples will appear in London.

The other likely effect of the impending arrival of these checkout-free supermarkets is that they will make it even less necessary to carry cash or indeed any traditional payment cards. Instead, all that will be required is an Amazon account and a line of credit associated with it, or a smartphone to confirm the transaction.

Working out when a particular product has been selected from a shelf in the store requires some surprisingly high-tech solutions. This is presumably necessary, especially from a security perspective, in addition to ensuring complete accuracy when charging genuine customers for their purchases.

Online shopping is becoming ever more streamlined and it looks as though the influence and expectations associated with web-based retail are spilling over to bricks and mortar stores, with Amazon leading the way in this particular retail revolution.