Is Amazon planning to ‘Go’ outside the US?
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Is Amazon planning to ‘Go’ outside the US?

Ecommerce giant Amazon is reportedly planning to launch its first Amazon Go store outside of the US. If you’re not sure what Amazon Go is, don’t be surprised: it’s currently a tiny business that has seen Amazon move into the brick-and-mortar retail space. And while the company has a much larger physical presence in the Whole Foods brand it purchased a year ago, Amazon Go is special for two reasons: first, it’s the actual Amazon brand – the website that hurt the high-street is now colonising that high-street; and second, the stores themselves might just be an early view of the future of retail.

Amazon’s share price has appreciated by 40% so far this year

graph 12 amazon

Source: Yahoo Finance

A report in UK newspaper, The Telegraph suggests that Amazon is planning to open an Amazon Go store in Britain. Specifically, in London’s West End shopping district. The paper cited anonymous sources who were close to the matter, saying that the company was after a 3,000 to 5,000 square foot-space to create its new brick-and-mortar shopping hub. According to The Telegraph the move is being spearheaded by the company’s US team, and could see an Amazon Go appear in Oxford Circus.

But what is Amazon Go? It’s a cashier-less convenience store that aims to replicate the Amazon experience in the physical world – at least, in the grocery space. The first one opened at its Seattle campus last January. It lets customers who have downloaded the Amazon Go smartphone app walk in, pick up groceries, and walk out while swiping their smartphone over a sensor. The company then charges that person’s Amazon account for the groceries, letting them avoid the hassle of paying in person. Now, there are seven such stores across the US, and the company is thinking about opening as many as 3,000 by 2021.

While the report is, as yet, unsubstantiated, it makes sense. The UK is an important market for Amazon, which said it had seen “record levels” of engagement in the country over its Black Friday sales event. It also hired as many as 20,000 workers in the country to manage the holiday rush. The company has declined to comment on the report.

Disclosure

Dominion holds Amazon in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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