AMAZON IS SET to bring its cashier-less retail stores to London, according to a new report.
The Telegraph claims that Amazon is eyeing up a prime location in the West End for a store of 3,500-5,000 square feet.
The Amazon Go concept hasn't rolled out beyond its native US so far, and this would be a first step into an overseas market for the AI-powered pantries.
It's thought that this would be the beginning of a global rollout with a high-prestige store in London acting as a flagship.
Amazon has already said that it has plans for 3000 branches by 2021, and this seems, therefore, to be the beginning of a very speedy rollout.
5,000 square feet isn't as much as it sounds. The average size of a supermarket is currently estimated to be around 45,000 feet, so in accordance with the character of the West End, this will a convenience store aimed at workers on the way home, and tourists stocking up their AirBnB.
Actually, if it's really going to be in the character of the West End it'll mostly sell snowglobes with pictures of Wills and Kate, and knock off designer clobber.
The fact remains that Amazon Go, which works using object recognition and the Amazon app, is not everyone's cup of tea. Privacy advocates have repeatedly voiced their suspicions about the way that data is collected from shoppers before they walk out the door.
The most likely location for the store appears to be Oxford Circus, which currently has a free corner after Benetton vacated one of the iconic corner outlets.
But with Microsoft also rumoured to be launching its first Microsoft Store outside the States in the same location, it will be interesting to see who prevails.
Amazon, as you'd expect, has declined approaches, saying it doesn't respond to such rumours. μ
AI nirvana in the cloud
Arrival of supersized notebook is imminent
Update plasters over 74 flaws in total