It's always nice to hear that some new shops are still opening in the middle of this quagmire of high street doom. Shopping behemoth Amazon, which has been accused of ruining the high street many times, has apparently acquired a space in London for its first UK branch of Amazon Go.
There are ten Amazon Go stores in the US already, although they're clustered in three cities (Chicago, San Francisco and Amazon's home city of Seattle). They're a new concept in retail, whereby a supremely complex network of cameras and AI equipment works out what you've bought without you having to go through a checkout.
Basically, you download the Amazon Go app before you enter, then you just walk around picking stuff up and putting it in your pocket/handbag/mouth, and when you're done, you walk out. The shop works out what you bought and bills you for it through the Amazon app, which sends you an itemised receipt. We tried several times to fool the system in Seattle and failed -- it knows when you put stuff back on the shelf.
Yes, it's a bit Big Brother-sounding, but once you've walked out of a shop without having to queue for a disinterested shop assistant or a robot with bagging area anxiety, you never want to go back.
We don't yet know where in London the new branch will be, but it'll be Amazon's first branch of Go outside the US. Lil' old Brexit Island is honoured. [TechCrunch]