Amazon opens its first UK non-food store

Amazon has opened its first non-food store in the UK, selling its most popular products.
Amazon has opened its first non-food store in the UK, selling its most popular products.

Amazon has opened its first store not to sell food in the UK. The store, which is located in the Bluewater shopping mall near Dartford, will sell its 2,000 most popular products. This is the first store of this kind to open outside of the US, where there are currently 30 stores of this kind in the US.

4-star

The store is called “4-star” as every item for sale has been rated over four stars by customers on Amazon. Customers can expect a range of products including books, consumer electronics, toys, games and homeware. To further emphasize the popularity of these products, the store has a “Most Wished For” section, featuring products that have appeared on customers wish lists the most. 

Smart store 

The price tags in the store are all digital so that they can match the prices that they are listed as on Amazon. Though users do not need an Amazon account to purchase items, those that do have an account can have their purchases returned or delivered to the store. 

More stores, more sales

The move has been described by retail expert Natalie Berg as “experimentation”; “This is not about shifting more product; it’s about baiting shoppers into Amazon’s ecosystem.”

“It’s about getting shoppers to engage with Amazon’s devices, reminding Prime customers of the value in their memberships, and offering additional choice when it comes to collection and returns of online orders.”

“The 4-star concept has the potential to be a bit muddled and uninspiring, “she remarked, “The store features a smorgasbord of products, the result of Amazon’s very scientific, data-led approach to physical retail, but when you strip out the high-tech touches, I struggle to see how it differentiates from any other retailer.” 

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In addition to the expansion of its 4-star stores, Amazon has also expanded the sales it holds with Prime. It announced a “Black Friday-worthy” series of deals earlier this week, enabling customers to begin shopping ahead of the holiday season. Amazon has sought to make this as accessible as possible; users can simply ask, “Alexa, what are my deals?” to access the sales. Amazon has also unveiled its new “Holiday Gift List” which enables customers to create gift ideas for family and friends during the festive season. Prime members in the US will also send gifts with the recipient’s number without needing a recipient’s address.

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