Amazon Go expands to UK, airport stores to open, AmazonBasics toys and Alexa email feature

Amazon Go coming to London

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Amazon is planning to bring its cashierless Amazon Go retail stores to London. The location would mark the first time Amazon has launched its Go concept outside of the US, where it currently operates seven retail locations. The company is reportedly looking for a retail space with a size of between 3,000 and 5,000 square feet near Oxford Circus.

This report came at the same time as rumours spread of a bid by Amazon for the UK's fourth largest supermarket - Morrisons. So far, this speculation remains unconfirmed by both parties, but Morrisons share price jumped up 2.6% following the news.

Amazon stores to expand into US airports

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Amazon is reportedly looking to bring its checkout-free Amazon Go stores to airports in the US. The report claims that Amazon has already met with officials at San Jose International Airport.

Due to the sheer volume of foot traffic, Amazon is eyeing the airport expansion as a way to build up the Amazon Go brand and get consumers au fait with the technology. The stores are also perfectly suited to the airport environment as they allow travellers to quickly grab food and other items pre-flight without the hassle of queuing at checkout. Furthermore, because they are cashierless, they could be open around the clock.

The stores simply require shoppers to scan their Amazon Go app when they enter the store. Precise location sensors others on the shelves themselves ensure items are added to a digital cart. Then the user just leaves the store and their Amazon account is charged for the purchases.

Alexa email feature

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Amazon has announced several new features for its Alexa voice assistant this week, as it strives to make Alexa part of our day-to-day routine. The most compelling feature lets you ask Alexa to read your newest emails to you. And, if you want, you can delete an email or reply to it by voice. It will start by saying how many unread messages you have. Then it will begin going through them from the most recent first, starting with the sender and subject line. Then it gives you four options: read the full email, reply to it, archive it or delete it. 

Using it to manage emails would take time and be tedious, but it could be useful for quickly checking your email while getting ready in the morning, or eventually for listening and responding to emails while you drive with Amazon's upcoming Echo Auto, which should be launching in the coming months.

Amazon the toymaker

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Amazon’s private label efforts have grown substantially this year, with launches ranging from furniture to groceries. This week, eagle-eyed shoppers spotted an impending launch of several new AmazonBasics brand private label toys for toddlers and kids. It will be the first time Amazon has launched private label children’s toys. The toys are not shipping yet, but their product pages were briefly live on Amazon.com. The new toy products on show were:

  • AmazonBasics Soft Play Single Tunnel

  • AmazonBasics Soft Play Climber

  • AmazonBasics Soft Play Climb and Crawl Play Set, 5-Piece

  • AmazonBasics Kids’ Toy Storage Organizer


While many toys are sold on brand and with officially licensed IP, Amazon should be able to gain traction for private label items relatively quickly in those areas that don’t depend as heavily on a brand.