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Amazon Halts New UK Self-Checkout Grocers as Sales Fall Short

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Lagging sales and economic troubles have caused Amazon to pause the rollout of more self-checkout stores.

Sources said the eCommerce giant ended up walking away from talks to add dozens of new sites for the Amazon Fresh grocery stores.

Many of the Fresh stores in existence haven’t been seeing positive sales, and the costs of building new ones ended up being too much, a report from Business Insider notes.

According to the report, some store openings might keep going ahead if there were leases signed.

But it does reflect a speed bump for the retail giant, along with other potential problems: a reportedly “dysfunctional” team culture and tension with Whole Foods, which the company bought in 2017 for $13.7 billion.

Amazon didn’t respond to a request for comment from PYMNTS.

In other news related to self-checkout grocery stores, U.S. grocer Kroger is looking into a new self-service option for 20 stores in the Cincinnati, Ohio area.

Read more: Kroger Adds Belted Self-Checkout as Grocers Put Shoppers in Control

PYMNTS wrote that the grocery store has added belted self-checkout which will work like a cashier-manned lane, though the customer will operate the tech.

Kroger’s smaller-format self-service kiosks often saw customers struggling with the lack of space and sometimes dropping things.

“Kroger is always looking for new ways to reinvent the checkout experience for its customers,” Jenifer Moore, corporate affairs manager for Kroger’s Cincinnati-Dayton division, said in a statement quoted by WLWT5. “[We recently] launched belted self-checkout lanes in over 40 stores in the Cincinnati/Dayton division.”

Kroger has been working on various self-service options for years, including testing “KroGo” smart carts in 2021, partnering with Instacart-owned tech company Caper AI. And the company pilot tested a self-service-only store in Dallas, Texas last year, too.

Many retailers have been trying to add more self-service, including checkout methods imitating the Amazon “Just Walk Out” model which lets customers scan payment methods as they enter, pick up items and then leave with the charges going automatically to their accounts.

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About: The findings in PYMNTS’ new study, “The Super App Shift: How Consumers Want To Save, Shop And Spend In The Connected Economy,” a collaboration with PayPal, analyzed the responses from 9,904 consumers in Australia, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. and showed strong demand for a single multifunctional super apps rather than using dozens of individuals ones.


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