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Retail

Amazon's '4-Star' Retail Concept Highlights Retailer's Ambitions For UK

The news that Amazon has opened a physical non-food outlet, 'Amazon 4-Star', in the UK, underlines its willingness to "cement its position" in the British high street, Edge by Ascential has said.

Florence Wright, senior retail insight analyst at Edge by Ascential was commenting following the online retail giant's first Amazon 4-Star outlet in the UK, in Dartford, following the rollout of about 30 such stores in the US.

The store, which stocks around 2,000 items, is so-called because each item has been awarded more than 4 stars by Amazon users.

Amazon's Ambitions

“Amazon shows no sign of slowing down in the UK market, and its latest Amazon 4 star stores is another example of its ambitions to cement a spot on the UK high street, with six checkoutless grocery stores now in operation, in addition to its first hair salon," said Wright.

"Amazon’s 4-star model is notable for bringing online trends and data into a physical store setting, which serves to further engage shoppers in the Amazon ecosystem. What is interesting about this move is that it aims to be a showroom of products, where ranges change regularly and are chosen based on customer reviews and product launches.

"It is a logical decision for Amazon, given its vast inventory, but we must remember that Amazon’s expertise lies in e-commerce, and therefore it needs to think carefully about how it designs stores as its brand alone may not be enough to draw in shoppers."

Building The Experience

As Wright added, while the store is likely to be kitted out with the latest technology to ensure shoppers have a frictionless experience, it also offers Amazon the opportunity to test some key characteristics it could roll out to its wider store estate, to bolster the shopping journey.

"This includes experiential elements to educate and inspire, through to creating a social element to foster connections with shoppers and give them a reason to keep returning," she said.

"Amazon is yet to announce a pipeline for opening more 4-star stores in the UK, and it is likely to use this store initially to test how the format is received outside of the US. As Amazon continues to leverage online data for its physical stores, brands must prioritise online visibility and sales to capitalise on any emerging store-based opportunities.”

© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine. Article by Stephen Wynne-Jones. For more Retail news, click here. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: European Supermarket Magazine.

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