Amazon Alexa: Expert demonstrates three features
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Amazon is the world’s largest online retailer, but in the past few years, it has started the move into bricks and mortar. Visitors to the shop will be able to “just walk out” rather than queue at tills to pay for the goods they purchase.
The Amazon Fresh shop is in Ealing in London and is much smaller than a supermarket.
The shop, open from 7am to 11pm, sells prepared meals, some groceries and Amazon devices.
You are also able to collect and return your online orders at this store.
The retail giant is said to be looking at other locations in Greater London.
Customers to the shop do not need to queue at tills when they leave.
Instead, visitors will scan a smartphone app when entering the shop and will be automatically billed as they leave.
The “just walk out” technology is currently operating in 20 Amazon Go stores in the UK but is the first time it has been opened up in Europe.
The “contactless” store is decked out with hundreds of cameras and depth-sensors to register what people choose to place in their bag for purchasing.
The technology can also register when someone has put an item back on the shelf, if they change their mind, for instance.
The shopper’s on-file credit card is billed after they leave the shop and a receipt is emailed, meaning they can walk out of the store without waiting to pay.
Amazon said the Just Walk Out technology uses “computer vision, deep learning algorithms, and sensor fusion”.
The technology does not however include facial recognition.
Instead, users identify themselves by scanning a barcode when entering the store which cross-references their account and details.
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Matt Birch, the former Sainsbury’s executive who now leads Amazon Fresh Stores UK, said the company has strived to make grocery shopping “as convenient as possible”.
He said: “The focus was just creating a really easy shopping experience for customers.
“We recognise that UK customers want to shop in a convenient way so we really think they will appreciate being able to walk in and walk out with the shopping they need.”
The company added it has launched a By Amazon range of hundreds of own-brand products for the stores.
Chiropractor Andrew Martin was one of the first customers this morning.
He told the Evening Standard: “I just heard about it and had to come down.
“I use Amazon a lot and it’s a really intriguing idea. It’s so strange just to be able to walk out with goods.
“I just hope it doesn’t lead me to accidentally shoplift in other shops because I get so used to the money coming out automatically.”
Amazon launched a grocery delivery service last July for its Amazon Prime customer located in or around London.
The retail giant has yet to dominate the market in the grocery sector.
In the UK, the retailer acquired the Whole Foods Market chain in 2017 and has a dozen Amazon Go stores, all of which are cashless convenience stores.
There are two Amazon Go Grocery stores which are much larger and an additional 10 Amazon Fresh supermarket outlets in California and Illinois.
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