In an effort to broaden its reach, Amazon will be opening its non-food store in the UK in the Bluewater shopping mall near Dartford where it will sell over 2,000 of its most popular and best-rated products according to a report from BBC UK.
The branch will be called the Amazon 4-star due to the fact that every item it will sell in the mall were rated over four stars by customers.
A retail expert in the UK has made it known that the shop could be “muddled and uninspiring”.
This will however become the first Amazon 4-star store right outside of the U.S. where it had successfully created over 30 outlets.
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Products range from books, consumer electronics, toys, games, and home appliances all of which its customers purchase via its e-commerce store.
There’s a “Most Wished For” section, for instance, showing the most popular products from customers’ wish lists.
The shops can also be visited by non-Amazon customers and digital price tags are used to ensure that the prices are the same everywhere – online and in-store.
And customers will also be able to collect items ordered online as well as return items without the need for packaging and labels.
As of now, there are no words about how many Amazon 4-star UK stores will be opened later on in the near future as the company’s director Andy Jones has failed to make any comment on this.
Amazon 4-star in the UK
Amazon has faced numerous scrutiny over its anti-competitive practices especially how it undercuts traditional retailers and pays fewer taxes.
The company became the biggest e-commerce platform globally after it expanded from just book sales and now, it’s dabbling into the physical store business.
However, retail expert Natalie Berg said the Amazon move “is purely about experimentation”.
Berg said the company wants to continue encouraging more online shopping.
“This is not about shifting more product; it’s about baiting shoppers into Amazon’s ecosystem,” Berg said.
“It’s about getting shoppers to engage with Amazon’s devices, reminding Prime customers of the value in their memberships, and offering additional choice when it comes to collection and returns of online orders.”
Aside from the newly opened Amazon4-star UK store, the company had earlier opened about 6 grocery stores with checkout-free technology.
But Berg said the jury is still out as to whether the world’s most disruptive retailer can do one of the most fundamental retail tasks – run stores.
“The 4-star concept has the potential to be a bit muddled and uninspiring,” she said.
“The store features a smorgasbord of products, the result of Amazon’s very scientific, data-led approach to physical retail.
“But when you strip out the high-tech touches, I struggle to see how it differentiates from any other retailer,” says Berg.