Amazon Go

US Amazon Go stores use camera and sensor technology to track what shoppers put in their baskets

Amazon has refused to comment on reports that it’s searching for sites to open its first checkout-free stores in the UK.

The tech giant is looking for a “significant number” of retail sites between 4,000 sq ft and 5,000 sq ft, which would be suitable for its Amazon Go grocery shops, according to the Sunday Times.

Amazon Go stores in the US use camera and sensor technology to track what customers put in their baskets, and what they pick up and put down again. Shoppers are required to have an Amazon account, the free Amazon Go app, and a smartphone or device, and are automatically billed when they leave without the need to queue for a checkout.

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The process is triggered when shoppers scan the app and pass through a gated turnstile before they start shopping.

Four Amazon Go stores have opened in the U.S. and the name was trademarked in Britain in 2016.

“We don’t comment on rumours and speculation,” an Amazon spokesman said today of the claims similar stores were planned in the UK.

Amazon has also been experimenting with various store formats at its US branches. For instance, it opened the first Amazon 4-Star shop in New York last month, which stocks products that are rated at four stars or more on, are top sellers or are trending.

It has seven grocery shops in the UK already due to its £10bn acquisition of Whole Foods Market in 2017.