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Our reportages | Retail

AMAZON AND ITS NEW INNOVATIVE STORES IN LONDON

4 May - 2021

Tags from the story: Amazon, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Go.

The British capital city is slowly going back to normal and Amazon is taking advantage of this to test with new commercial formats.

While many chain stores have closed most of their stores due to pandemic restrictions, Amazon is opening new ones.

Last February in London, the famous brand opened the first Amazon Fresh food and convenience store in Europe. Like those that already exist in some US cities, it offers a contactless format for customers and staff. In fact, there are no cashiers inside, but shop assistants who help customers become familiar with self-service technologies. In addition to a commercial strategy, for Amazon it is an experiment to test its retail philosophy in this gradual reopening period.

Located inside the Ealing Broadway shopping center in London, Amazon Go has artificial intelligence devices capable of interacting with people at all stages of the sale: from the choice of products to final payment. In fact, before entering, you must download the appropriate application on your smartphone, then you scan a QR code at the entrance and everything is charged to your credit card. It is a format that has strengths and weaknesses. First of all, gatherings are avoided, which in this period is essential for the opening of activities; then the buyer does not have to queue at the house. As for the cons, the sense of sociability that is perceived in traditional shops will certainly be lost and will discourage people who are unfamiliar with innovations (such as the elderly who still pay almost everything in cash) to go there. Nonetheless, many Londoners go to Ealing Broadway every day to buy fruit, vegetables or ready-to-eat meals.

Amazon Fresh is also active in Italy, in Milan, but with only the takeaway service. Meanwhile, the giant led by Jeff Bezos does not intend to stop here. In fact, this week Amazon started a collaboration with the Neville Hair and Beauty hairdressing salon in London (owned by the Italian Elena Lavagni) which, apart from personal services, works with contactless technologies. Entering the shop it is possible to take advantage of augmented reality technologies to see oneself with a different color from the usual one or with a new cut.

In short, even on the retail front, Amazon is increasingly proving to be a pioneer of innovations.

Curated by Matteo Melani

 

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