Amazon Expands Retail Presence By Opening First 4-Star Store Outside US

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Amazon further expanded its retail presence by opening its first non-food store outside the US, building on the launch of its first grocery stores and a trial hair salon in the UK

The 4-star Amazon store, located in the famous Bluewater Shopping Center near Dartford, just outside London, opened this morning and offers around 2,000 of its most popular and top rated products in an established concept in the United States called Amazon 4 stars, because each item received more than four stars by customers.

It is the first 4-star Amazon store outside of the United States, where there are already 32 outlets after making its New York debut in 2018, and adds to the six Amazon grocery stores that opened this year in United Kingdom, with free technology funds.

The new store measures around 3,500 square feet and directly tackles the John Lewis department store chain and the UK’s leading consumer electronics chain, Currys, which has previously denigrated the range on offer and how the product line works together.

This is not the only one, a number of retail commentators have questioned that the algorithmically selected merchandise works as consistently in a physical space as it does online.

Trending Products on 4 Star Amazon

The new store’s product line, which includes books, consumer electronics, toys, games and housewares, reflects what Amazon customers buy online. There is a “Most Wished For” section, showcasing the most popular products from customer wish lists.

There is also a ‘Trends in Bluewater’ section, which will feature items that local customers have purchased, while ‘Most Gifted’ will feature major items ordered as gifts. Amazon says it will regularly recycle products based on customer feedback and to keep abreast of the latest trends.

Digital price tags are used to ensure prices are the same in store and online, and shoppers do not need to have an Amazon account to use it. Customers can also pick up items ordered online as well as return items without the need for packaging and labels.

Andy Jones, director of 4-star Amazon UK, declined to reveal how many more stores he plans to open in the UK, but said “convenience is part of the store’s offering”, adding that the store does not use the “just pull out” technology from its convenience stores and instead, shoppers can scan a QR code and be billed later from their account, with shoppers emailed once that their receipt is ready, or pay using traditional meters.

Jones said plans for the UK debut have been in the works since around 2019 and told London Standard Evening newspaper: “It’s a store that was created by customers for customers… It’s another opportunity for us to innovate on behalf of customers.

Amazon: Savior of Main Street?

Amazon has invested heavily in physical real estate since it bought US grocery chain Whole Foods

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. Since then, Amazon has opened bookstores, convenience stores and grocery stores, the 4-star concept and pop-ups, while testing different formats and offers.

New concepts invariably started in the United States and then were tested further in the United Kingdom, where the online giant has a small but growing in-store presence.

While owners have widely welcomed the arrival of Amazon stores, despite the fact that they have done as much as any business to compete with Main Street, the reality is that Amazon’s rollout will likely be limited to programs. lighthouses and shopping avenues.

Questions also remain as to whether it can establish its relevance in highly competitive markets. The UK grocery industry, for example, includes giants such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s, as well as German discount kings Lidl and Aldi. Amazon fresh

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has failed to make major inroads despite growing online penetration in the supermarket industry.

Likewise, consumer electronics market leader Currys has grown into a big box, out-of-town retailer with a strong online offering, meaning its stores include a very wide range. of products and brands.

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