Now that it’s become the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon has announced plans to expand its High Street presence in the UK by opening its first non-food retail store.
The shop, which will be called “Amazon 4-star”, will be located in the Bluewater shopping mall near Dartford. It will sell around 2,000 of Amazon’s best-rated, popular products that have been given more than four stars by online customers.
The company says that there will be a wide selection of products available, including electronics, games, toys, homeware, and books, all of which will reflect what consumers are buying the most online.
Additionally, the store will have a “Most Wished For” section, which will show the most popular products from consumers’ online wish lists. And, to make sure prices in-store match the online prices, digital price tags will be used.
Customers will also be able to collect items they’ve ordered online and return items without packaging, printing labels, and posting them. However, shoppers will not need to sign up for an Amazon account to shop there and it will be open to all customers.
Amazon continues its expansion
This is the first Amazon 4-star store to open in the UK, and it follows around 30 outlets that are already open in the US. It’s still unclear how many more stores will open in the UK or globally, but it already has six grocery convenience stores in the UK featuring checkout-free technology.
In recent years, the digital giant has face accusations of damaging the high street and traditional shopping by undercutting retailers, paying less tax, and avoiding in-store overheads.
Now, the company is moving into brick-and-mortar retail. Although it claims the move is “purely about experimentation”, the decision has been met with some criticism.
Amazon says, “It’s about getting shoppers to engage with Amazon’s devices, reminding Prime customers of the value in their memberships, and offering additional choice when it comes to collection and returns of online orders.”