Amazon Fresh opens 2 till-less stores in 2 of London’s poshest districts


NLINE retail giant Amazon continues its march on the capital’s high streets with the opening of two more walk-in, walk-out convenience stores Islington and Richmond.

The new till-free Amazon Fresh outlets add to the US behemoth’s eight existing London outlets, the first of which opened in Ealing in March.

The rate of proliferation is accelerating with the latest – a City branch in High Holborn – having opened its doors just last week.

Shoppers in leafy Richmond, last week named the UK’s second-happiest borough, were happy to check out the new arrival.

Green hats and green bananas lure in the curious



The local high street has taken a pummeling in the pandemic with a string of shut-down units leaving main drag George Street like a row of boxer’s teeth.

This includes the flagship House of Fraser department store, once a major draw for the district’s middle classes and now being turned into a complex of upscale shops and offices.

Amazon workers in lime-green bobble hats handed out lime-green bananas on the precinct next to the main rail and Tube station in a building that was, until recently, a Foxtons and a phone shop.

Masked-up assistants on the door help the less tech-savvy to download the correct app (‘that’s the American one.. It doesn’t work here’, could be played on a loop) before a train ticket style barcode swipe sees the glass barriers open.

Face masks are requested before admission following the re-introduction of rules to stall the spread of the latest Covid-19 variant.

Once inside, it’s a simple question of grab and go.

Prices and the range on offer are comparable with nearby Tesco and M&S metro branches. If the shop is bristling with CCTV and motion tracking sensors, the average shopper probably wouldn’t notice.

Richmond shoppers give it a whirl


Bosses at Amazon have expressed confidence that their all-seeing tracking technology – which follows shoppers’ every move as they pick up items and stash them in pockets and bags before leaving – is shoplifter-proof.

An experimental visit eventually bears this out. Despite an ‘accidental’ change of both facemask and coat mid-shop, the emailed receipt that landed a couple of hours later was clinically accurate.

Reports suggest Amazon intends to open around 200 stores of this kind across the UK in the next two years.

Retail guru Nick Bubb, displaying a local’s eye for south-west London’s shopping hierarchy, comments: “I suspect the Amazon Fresh store in Richmond, next to the station, will do better than the one near Waitrose in East Sheen.”

And if laid-back, traditional Richmond can adapt to this new fangled way of grabbing groceries, it’s quite likely that anywhere can.

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