Amazon has opened five of its cashier-less ‘Go' stores in the USA so far, and is planning to expand the concept overseas.
According to The Times, the online retail giant is busy buying up multiple retail sites in the UK, in preparation for opening its automated stores in the country.
Sources have told the newspaper that Amazon is looking for sites of 4,000-5,000 square feet (370-465 square metres) - as much as three times larger than its first Go store in Seattle.
Amazon Go outlets use computer-vision technology and a form of AI to monitor people entering the store and their selections. There aren't any cashiers, either - shoppers are automatically charged when they leave.
The company has built three such stores in its hometown of Seattle and two in Chicago, with others planned in New York and San Francisco. Some reports claim that Amazon wants to open as many as 3,000 branches across the US by 2021.
Although there is no indication of where Amazon would build the UK stores, London seems to be an obvious launch site.
The rollout of Amazon's initial Go store was delayed by a fairly lengthy teething process while the bugs were ironed out, but it eventually opened in beta in late 2016.
Since then Amazon has opened four new stores this year, as well as officially ending the beta period on its first location. It will need to speed up that rollout if it hopes to hit the 3,000-outlet target - and compete with other cashier-less concepts like Zippin.
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