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03/04/2021

Amazon Opens First Fresh Grocery Store Abroad

Gina Acosta
Executive Editor
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Amazon is taking its physical store grocery ambitions across the pond.

The e-commerce giant and everything retailer has opened its first physical store outside the United States, and it's a grocery store. The Ealing store in London is a grocery store that will be bannered Amazon Fresh, just like the grocery stores that Amazon has been opening across the U.S.

According to the company, the 2,500-square-foot Amazon Fresh store will offer customers everything they’d want from a local grocery store with an experience that allows shoppers to simply take what they want and walk out. The Just Walk Out Technology is similar to the experience that shoppers have come to know in the company's Amazon Go and Amazon Go Grocery stores in the U.S., but this is the first time that the tech has been used in an Amazon Fresh bannered store.

Amazon Fresh shoppers in the U.K. will find everyday staples such as British meat, responsibly sourced fish and fresh produce, partly prepared dishes to fully prepared meals including traditional classics, and new street food-inspired dishes, the company said. The      s​​tore will also sell convenience store-style items such as hot coffee, hot foods, sandwiches, newspapers, magazines, flowers and even Amazon devices.

In addition, Amazon is launching a new private food brand in the U.K. called "by Amazon." The range includes hundreds of new items that will be sold in the Amazon Fresh U.K. store, including hot food throughout the day, on-the-go meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and staple ingredients that can be transformed into meals.

The store will also offer an Amazon Hub, where customers can pick up and return Amazon.co.uk parcels. Customers can select their local Amazon Fresh U.K. store as the delivery location during checkout on Amazon.co.uk or the Amazon app.

The Ealing Amazon Fresh will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. seven days a week.  

The news from Amazon further solidifies the company's plans to dominate the grocery space globally.

Three years after it acquired Whole Foods Market, Amazon has been disrupting the grocery industry by opening dozens of cashierless convenience stores called Amazon Go, two Seattle-area Amazon Go Grocery stores, and 10 Amazon Fresh supermarkets in California and Illinois. More are planned.

The new Amazon Fresh supermarkets in the U.S. take elements of all of those concepts micro-fulfillment, contactless features, a curated assortment of premium and conventional products, and highly personalized service and melds them into one innovative store that offers something for every type of food shopper, from low-touch cashierless checkout to high-touch made-to-order prepared foods. This is a store that is designed to appeal to a shopper looking for the best of everything: the best product mix, the best technology and the best shopping experience.

"The Amazon Fresh grocery store is designed from the ground up to offer a seamless grocery shopping experience, whether customers are shopping in-store or online," said Jeff Helbling, VP of Amazon Fresh stores. "We’ve taken our decades of operations experience to deliver consistently low prices for all, and free same-day delivery for Prime members."

No. 2 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, Amazon is also planning grocery stores in the Los Angeles and Philadelphia markets, according to media reports. Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods is No. 24 on the list.

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