Amazon on Thursday launched its first “just walk out shopping” outlet outside the United States, as the online retail giant steps up its competition with traditional supermarkets and other retailers.
Customers at Amazon Fresh in Ealing Broadway shopping centre in west London queued outside the black and green storefront under social distancing measures to be first to use the convenience store which has no checkouts.
The outlet, according to Amazon, is the “first convenience grocery store to offer just walk out shopping in the UK” and its “first physical shop and grocery store outside of the US”.
To use the new outlet, customers have to download an app and then scan a QR code before an electronic gate swings open and allows them to browse a range of Amazon-brand products.
On its opening day, a team of assistants, dressed in vibrant green jackets – the same colour as the grocery shop’s colourful branding – were on hand to explain how the system worked.
Once they have bagged their items, customers don’t have to show a card or let anyone know, they simply walk out.
“It was really strange, it felt like I was a criminal, because I was just taking things and putting them straight in my bag,” 71-year-old Ealing resident Philippa Dolphin told AFP.
‘You just walk right out’
“But apparently there are cameras watching me. And then you just walk out! It didn’t seem right but I was assured it was okay!” she added.
Amazon has said the store, which is similar to 20 Amazon Go outlets in the United…