In pictures: Amazon Fresh, Holborn


Amazon Fresh has taken London by storm. With 15 stores already dotted around town and more on the cards – reports suggest the e-commerce giant is planning to open 260 supermarkets across UK in next three years – it’s no shock that Amazon’s “speedier” way to shop has become a popular stop-off for shoppers looking to grab a few essentials as they go about their day.

Amazon has been crowned as the US’ top grocer for second year running, according to a survey commissioned by the Dunnhumby Retailer Preference Index. Its Amazon Fresh division (which its network of UK grocery stores come under) came in fifth position, despite operating mainly as a grocery delivery subsidiary in the US.

“The pandemic has massively accelerated changes in how customers buy their groceries, and their behaviours are continuing to evolve,” said Dunnhumby’s president of North America, Grant Steadman.

Will the UK be following in the US’ footsteps and crowning the e-commerce giant as top grocer in the no-too-distant future? Only time will tell.

Some of Amazon Fresh’s London locations include Euston, Angel, Aldgate East, Dalston, White City and Canary Wharf, but we checked out its Holborn site.

Situated on Chancery Lane, the store opened in November last year, making it only the eighth store in the UK to feature the till-free convenience store format.

Customers need to use the Amazon app to enter the store, but then they can simply shop for what they need. At the end of their shopping trip, they just head out through the exit, with no need to stand in a queue or check out. Unless shopping for age-restricted items or asking for help, shoppers do not need to speak to any staff members, who are dotted around the store.

We went to take a look:

Through the door of Amazon Fresh, Holborn:

Amazon Fresh store front

It’s a decidedly ‘Big Brother’ experience; you are constantly monitored, with an array of cameras and sensors picking up on whatever you decide to purchase. Products are automatically charged to your Amazon account when you leave the store, with receipts arriving a few hours later.

Amazon cameras

Like any other grocer, the fresh fruit and vegetable aisle is the first you see when walking through the doors, with a selection of produce on sale.

Amazon Fresh fruit

A range of drinks are available, from essentials like milk to juice and smoothies to bottles of wine, beer and spirits – but remember to bring your ID.

Amazon Fresh products

Forgot your shopping bag? Amazon provides paper bags for free and sells reusable ones for £1 each.

Amazon Fresh Bags

Toiletry items are also readily available from the store, with brands including Colgate, Lynx, Carex, Simple and Durex.

Amazon Fresh products

Although you cannot make returns on in-store products, you can collect and return Amazon parcels here using the Amazon Hub.

Amazon Fresh pick up

Just like many UK grocers, meal deals are available to purchase, alongside on-the-go snacks.

Amazon Fresh Meal Deal

Fresh bakery foods are also on the shelves, even offering a breakfast deal of a coffee and pastry for £2.50, with ice cream being rolled out “soon”.

Amazon Fresh bakery

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