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Amazon closes one London Fresh store, opens another as expansion plans slow

The Amazon Fresh grocery store in Ealing, west London (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Archive)
The Amazon Fresh grocery store in Ealing, west London (Victoria Jones/PA) (PA Archive)

Amazon has closed one of its London Fresh stores and opened another elsewhere in a sign the tech giant is cooling its grocery retail expansion plans for the capital.

The Amazon Fresh Dalston site was closed earlier this month, less than 18 months after the store was first opened, with staff being offered jobs at nearby locations.

An Amazon spokesperson could not confirm whether further site closures were being looked at in London. The closure was first reported by the Retail Tech Innovation Hub (RTIH).

The e-commerce giant, which also owns the upmarket supermarket chain Whole Foods, first introduced the high-tech stores in London in March 2021 at a site in Ealing, before expanding at breakneck speed with the opening of a further 18 across the UK in a matter of months.

As many as 100 Amazon Fresh stores had been planned for the UK, according to RTIH – but now the firm has announced just two new sites for London.

A spokesperson said: “Just like other retailers, we regularly review our business and from time to time adjust to ensure we are able to best serve our customers.

“We remain committed to Amazon Fresh UK physical stores [with] two new Amazon Fresh stores in the Greater London area.”

The first of the two new London Amazon Fresh stores, a site in Croydon, was opened today.

The store, which is based on Ruskin Square, offers fresh meat, poultry and fish, dairy, fruit and veg and baked goods and will be open seven days a week. Customers visiting the store can walk out without queuing at the till or using a self-service checkout using the firm’s Just Walk Out technology, which uses sensors along product shelves to detect which items that are being bought and charge shoppers’ Amazon accounts accordingly.

Amazon has yet to confirm the location for the second store opening.