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Published on October 6th, 2021 | by The GC Team

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“4-star” experience: Amazon opens UK non-food store

“Lauded as a potential stunt and an opportunity to drive uptake in Prime, it’s more likely that Amazon is doing what it does best and tends to win out on challenging the status quo”

Amazon has opened its first Amazon 4-star store outside of the US in the Bluewater Shopping Centre in Dartford, Kent.

The outlet features 3,500 square feet front-of-house space and offers a curated range of products rated 4 stars and above plus those that are top sellers or trending on the retailer’s website – a direct reflection of what customers are “buying and loving” on Amazon.co.uk.  

The store carries items from the top categories including consumer electronics, toys, games, books, kitchen, home items and more, and also has the full range of Amazon devices available to demonstrate. These include Kindle e-Readers, Fire Tablets and Echo Dots.

Customers can purchase from the millions of items available at Amazon.co.uk online and collect orders at the store the next day. The retailer is also offering parcel-free, label-free returns for items purchased both in-store and online.

Amazon said its account holders will pay the same low price as they would on Amazon.co.uk, and Prime members will receive exclusive perks and deals throughout the store.

When asked about plans for further stores in the UK, the retailer said: “We’re excited to open our first Amazon 4-star in Bluewater and look forward to hearing what customers think, stay tuned!”

Hugh Fletcher, Global Head of Consultancy and Innovation at Wunderman Thompson Commerce, said Amazon is not messing around when it comes to bricks-and-mortar.

“Lauded as a potential stunt and an opportunity to drive uptake in Prime, it’s more likely that Amazon is doing what it does best and tends to win out on challenging the status quo. And these stores in particular are deliberately inclusive to all, where Prime membership and even an Amazon account are not pre-requisites to shop there.

“With a quarter of spend in the UK already through Amazon and nearly two thirds of consumers excited by the prospect of buying everything through one retailer, Amazon is tapping into a consumer mindset that is increasingly loyal to service, rather than brand.

“So as long as the Amazon 4-stars offer the same level of price, service and efficiency as it does online, it’s hard to look past these stores as another feather in an already crowded cap.”

Andy Jones, director, Amazon 4-star UK, commented: “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, opportunity to test-drive Amazon’s latest devices, and the convenience of pickup and returns.”

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