Amazon UK shuts three 'just walk out' stores

Amazon UK has permanently shut three of its 'just walk out' stores in the capital.

Over the weekend, the retailer closed the doors of its Amazon Fresh stores in Ealing Broadway, Wandsworth, and East Sheen.

The retail giant said that its decision followed a review of its “portfolio of stores” but that it plans to open new outlets in future.

Powered by Amazon’s ‘Just Walk Out’ technology, the company's Fresh stores allow customers to pay for groceries automatically when they leave the premises, after first scanning a QR code on their phone when they enter the building.

The technology uses a series of sensors across the store, sophisticated enough to monitor what a customer picks up from a shelf.

Customers can then walk out of the store with the goods they have chosen, without having to queue for any kind of till.

Staff working in the store are free to help resolve any customer queries and carry out other tasks.

Amazon also uses the technology to gather data about individual customer preferences and behaviour in store.

"Like any physical retailer, we periodically assess our portfolio of stores and make optimisation decisions along the way," said Amazon. "While we decided to close three Amazon Fresh stores, it doesn't mean we won't grow - this year, we will open new Amazon Fresh stores to better serve customers in the greater London area."

Amazon will continue to operate over 15 open Amazon Fresh UK stores across the greater London area, including one in Kent.

Earlier this week Amazon announced plans to roll out its palm payment technology across more than 500 Whole Foods Market outlets in the US by the end of the year.

Amazon One, the retail giant’s palm recognition tech, is part of its Amazon Web Services (AWS) suite of tools, and recently reached three million users.

Amazon said the rollout will mean that Whole Foods Market customers using Amazon One will no longer need their wallet or even a phone to pay; instead, all they need to do is hover their palm over an Amazon One device.

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