Amazon furthers physical retail expansion with first UK general store

The US company has opened the first Amazon 4-star store outside the US at the Bluewater shopping centre in Kent.

Amazon furthers physical retail expansion with first UK general store

Amazon has opened its first general store in the UK, selling items including books, technology and toys, as the online retail behemoth continues its expansion in physical retail.

The US company opened the first Amazon 4-star store outside the US on Wednesday at the Bluewater shopping centre, near Dartford in Kent.

It said the shop reflects what its customers are regularly buying and enjoying, using data from its online business to see which consumer electronics, toys, games, books, kitchen items, home products and more are popular with local shoppers.

Andy Jones, director of Amazon 4-star UK, said it is an “exciting” milestone for the retail giant, which started plans for the store prior to the pandemic.

“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,” he told the PA news agency.

Amazon 4-star store opens in UK
Amazon has displays including the most wished for products by customers online (Amazon/PA)

“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.”

The store has displays with products from small business partners of Amazon through its marketplace operation.

Amazon 4-star store opens in UK
Amazon launched its first 4-star store in the US in 2018 (Amazon/PA)

It added that the assortment of products in the store will change on a regular basis as the firm’s “curators” respond to customer feedback and new releases, with product lines updated each week.

Amazon opened its first UK grocery store last year, welcoming customers to its Amazon Fresh in Ealing in March.

The retailer said the model has been “well received” since opening and has grown the bricks and mortar grocery arm to six stores across London.

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