Amazon picks UK for first ‘4-star’ physical shop outside of the US

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Tech giant Amazon has opened grocery stores in London, and will now launch a new ‘4-star’ store in the UK, selling everything from books to pet toys.

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Mazon is bringing its ‘4-star’ physical store concept to the UK for the first time, with the tech giant selling everything from books to pet toys under one roof at a new shop at the Bluewater Center.

The online marketplace will open doors for its first ‘4-star’ branch outside the US in Kent on October 6th at 10am.

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In the latest push by Amazon to brick-and-mortar stores across the UK, the firm has taken over nearly 3,500 square feet in a Bluewater shopping center, opening hair salons and til-free grocery stores in 2021. It will stock around 2,000 different products there.

The accessories are among those that are rated four-star or above on Amazon’s website, with many online from the ‘wish list’ section ranging from Lego sets to kitchen gadgets and Amazon Fire tablets. Products are set to change regularly, linked to what is selling well digitally.

Digital price tags are on display, as well as the average star rating of a product and the number of customer reviews.

Andy Jones, director of Amazon 4-Star, UK, said the “convenience store is part of the offer”, adding that shoppers can scan a QR code and later have their account billed, giving buyers their receipt. Email is done once ready, or make payment using traditional counters.

The new store will also have an area where customers can collect or return orders made on Amazon online.

The tech giant has about 30 of these branches in the US, and Jones said plans for a UK launch are in the pipeline from around 2019.

He told the Evening Standard: “This is a store that is built by customers for customers… it’s another opportunity for us to innovate on behalf of customers.”

Amazon is opening a new 4-star store

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Jones wouldn’t be drawn to whether there are plans for more sites here, but said the launch follows “super positive feedback” from its stores in the US.

Property giant Landsec manages Bluewater and holds a stake in the mall. Homeowners Portfolio Director Rob Hardy said: “Our goal is to create a retail destination that offers guests retail and leisure that can’t be found anywhere else.”

In moves that shook some grocers and other high street businesses, Amazon has opened six convenience stores in London so far in 2021 selling food and magazines.

Amazon is opening a 4-star shop in the Bluewater Center

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The group, led by Andy Jesse, also unveiled a high-tech hair salon in Spitalfields earlier this year.

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