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Amazon ‘to launch checkout-free shops’ in London

Online retail giant Amazon has reportedly secured property to open checkout-free stores in London, making it the first openings of the concept outside of America.

According to trade publication The Grocer, the sites will compete with food outlets such as Eat and M&S and will be located in areas with high footfall. The concept is already operating in America with 10 existing Amazon Go outlets.

Sensors and cameras will track customers in the checkout-free stores and they will scan items using a QR reader before they are automatically charged for the items. The Grocer did not state how many sites the online retailer had secured.

Amazon already sells food in the UK through its Amazon Fresh, Amazon Pantry and Amazon Prime Now services.

The company recently ditched plans to open its second headquarters in New York. The opening faced opposition from some politicians who were unhappy with the tax incentives Amazon was set to receive.

On Thursday (14 February), Amazon released a statement which said: “After much thought and deliberation, we’ve decided not to move forward with our plans to build a headquarters for Amazon in Long Island City, Queens. For Amazon, the commitment to build a new headquarters requires positive, collaborative relationships with state and local elected officials who will be supportive over the long term.”

Retail Sector has approached Amazon for comment.

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