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With Amazon rumoured to be looking to open 24 London-based Amazon Go convenience stores, we asked three retailers for their thoughts on what the new checkout-free convenience store concept would mean for their businesses.
“I don’t think it’ll work. You can’t beat the personal touch. I’m in Central London, but have lots of regulars as people still live locally. They come in and talk, laugh and discuss the weather and their families. Sainsbury’s opened a store up the road recently and they’ve not stopped locals coming here, so why would Amazon?” Bharti Chavda, Westminster Grocery, London
“It is a worry, certainly, because it’s another one of the big boys muscling in with their huge buying power. It definitely would be convenient for customers, particularly in the big cities among the rich and busy young professionals. The other worry is just for society – it’s another step towards a lack of human interaction.” Kamal Thaker, Stop Shop News, Edgware, Middlesex
“Amazon will have obviously done their homework on this and therefore will know it works. A bit like the introduction of self-service tills or contactless cards, it’s going to happen either way, so the best thing to do is embrace it and use it as a vehicle for change in your own store. Be positive, basically.” Manjit Samra, Samra Supermarket, Smethwick, West Midlands