Amazon has already endured a rocky road trying to get its “checkout-free” grocery shops off the ground. The firm announced its first Amazon Go store last year, but technical problems meant the inaugural shop in Seattle has yet to open its doors to the public. Apparently, everything breaks if there are more than 20 customers inside the building at once. Bummer. Still, that hasn’t deterred the retailer from filing several trademark applications in Britain, in what could be the first move to Amazon Go shops opening in the UK.
The online giant filed four applications for trademark slogans with the UK’s Intellectual Property Office, including “No Queue, No Checkout. (No, Seriously)” and “Every Queue is a Defect”. The messages double down on Amazon Go’s core concept of a shop that’s free from checkout lines, where customers scan their Amazon account details when they enter, before the store tracks what they buy then charges them, all without the need for a small army of squishy, human-shaped employees.
Considering each Amazon Go will apparently only need six-to-ten workers per store, you can understand while these filings are causing ripples in the supermarket world. Unsurprisingly, Bloomberg reports the likes of Tesco and Sainsburys aren’t thrilled at the prospect of Amazon Go stores popping up around Britain. Amazon Fresh (the company’s £6.99 per month grocery service), is already available in certain parts of London, so it’s understandable the traditional supermarkets players are getting increasingly antsy.