Amazon has opened its first 4-star store outside of the US, offering a curated range of Amazon.co.uk’s most highly rated products in categories such as books, toys and games, home and consumer electronics.
The 3,500 sq ft store at Bluewater shopping centre in Kent will offer items rated four stars and above, as well as top sellers and other products trending on Amazon’s UK platform.
Collectively, the items available in-store have received almost 4 million four- and five-star reviews. The offering will change regularly to reflect demand and current trends.
Amazon’s own devices, such as Kindles and Echo Dots, will have a featured section in the outlet, while Prime members will be able to benefit from selected in-store deals. Consumers can also test devices and other electronic products in-store.
Amazon 4-star UK director Andy Jones told Retail Week that Amazon has used data collected online to “personalise” the in-store experience.
He said there will be an in-store ‘most wished for’ section featuring items that appear most in UK customers’ Amazon wish lists, alongside a ‘trending in Bluewater’ section.
A selection of small UK businesses that sell on the marketplace will also by highlighted in-store with a special display.
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Some products include customer reviews on the shelves, which Jones said: “Gives customers more information to help them make [informed purchasing] decisions.”
Dynamic pricing will feature throughout the store with digital price tags displaying item price, average online rating and the number of customer reviews online. The price tags in the 4-star store will also change to match any updates to the online price of the item.
The store will maintain a connection to the online marketplace with customers permitted to order items online and collect in-store as soon as the next day. Amazon will also accept parcel- and label-free items for returns even if the customer purchased online rather than in-store.
Jones said while the shop does not use the Just Walk Out technology that has been rolled out in its other UK stores, customers can pay through the Amazon app, as well as with a credit or debit card, and an Amazon account is not required.
Amazon opened its first 4-star store in New York in 2018. Jones said the decision to open the first UK store in Bluewater was “the perfect opportunity at the right time” with future 4-star stores in the country a distinct possibility depending on the public’s response to this one.
Jones added: “The Amazon 4-star store is a great place for customers to discover hot new releases, guaranteed page-turners, top-selling electronics and more.
“Every part of the store is designed with our customers in mind and we think they will be delighted by the curated selection of the most-loved products at great prices, the opportunity to test-drive Amazon’s latest devices and the convenience of pick-up and returns.”