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Amazon opens first UK non-food store

Written by: Emma Lunn
The Amazon ‘4-star’ shop is in the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent and will open its doors at 10am today.

The shop, so-called because its stock is all rated at 4 stars or above on Amazon, will sell everything from books, gadgets and kitchenware to pet toys. Similar stores are already open in the US.

The 3,500 square foot Bluewater store will sell about 2,000 items from brands including Barbie, Lego Mattel, Fitbit, Philips Hue and Russell Hobbs. It will also sell Amazon’s own products such as Echo speakers, Kindle tablets, and Ring doorbells.

The store also has a “Most Wished For” section showing the most popular products from customers’ wish lists.

Exactly what’s on sale in the shop will change on a regular basis as Amazon responds to customer feedback and new releases. Digital price tags are on display to ensure the prices are the same in-store and online.

Amazon customers also will be able to collect items ordered online as well as return items at the store.

Andy Jones, director of Amazon 4-star UK, said: “I’ve been working on this for the past two years so we are obviously just really keen now to get customers in and see what they think.

“The pandemic didn’t really change our thinking. We’ve seen that the model has worked really well in malls in the US, so a location like Bluewater made total sense to us.

“I think the variety in the store is really important and hopefully something customers will see. There are the Amazon products they will expect but also local products from small suppliers, because that is a huge part of the Amazon business.”

Amazon opened its first till-less grocery store outside of the US in Ealing, London in March 2021. Amazon Fresh uses Just Walk Out technology, meaning shoppers scan a smartphone app when entering and are automatically billed as they leave.

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