It Looks Like Amazon's Takeover of the High Street is Beginning

By Kim Snaith on at

Last year, online retail giant Amazon moved into the physical shopping space in the US, launching its cashierless shops under the brand of 'Amazon Go'. It looks like the company is making big steps to bring the retail experience over here, with Amazon looking to acquire retail space across the UK.

The Times reported over the weekend that Amazon is currently working to acquire a "significant number" of retail units, all between the size of 4,000 and 5,000 square feet. That's pretty small – for comparison, an average-sized Aldi usually has around 10,000 sq. ft. of sales floor (disregarding space for checkout counters etc.). So an Amazon Go shop will be around half the size of the shopping bit of an Aldi.

What makes Amazon Go stand out from its competitors is that the shops are designed to operate with no checkouts – customers using their phones (and their Amazon accounts) to purchase the items they pick up. It's not all been plain sailing in the US for the new venture, though, but with it coming to the UK almost two years after the launch, we can hope that some of the issues will have been ironed out.

As of yet, there's no solid information on exactly when and where Amazon Go will start popping up, but some analysts reckon it could be as soon as the next couple of months. And as with most new retailers, it's likely to imagine it'll start in the capital before spreading wider across the country. Providing it's successful, of course. [The Next Web]

Update: An earlier version of this article mistakenly stated that Amazon Go stores are designed to operate with "no staff". That's wrong - each shop still has a team of employees to prepare fresh food, stock shelves and greet customers.