Amazon Fresh checkout-free store destined for former Baby Gap in Sevenoaks

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A town in Kent looks set to host the county’s first Amazon grocery shop.

Amazon Fresh is set to open in Sevenoaks in the near future, making it one of the first till-free stores outside of London.

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Amazon Fresh is expected to open in the former Baby Gap store in Sevenoaks

It is thought that the store, advertised by the online giant as offering a “seamless grocery shopping experience”, will move into the former Baby Gap outlet in Bligh’s Meadow.

While official details are scarce, several job listings have been advertised for ‘retail associates’ for a Sevenoaks store.

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There are also hints at a new future for the former children’s wear store, which has been undergoing extensive work behind blocked-off windows.

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Council planning documents show that permission has been granted for both interior and exterior work on the site.

This includes new automatic sliding doors, fresh advertising hoardings on the outside and a projecting sign inside.

The Amazon 4-Star store at Bluewater shopping centre in Greenhithe has now closed. Picture: Amazon
The Amazon 4-Star store at Bluewater shopping centre in Greenhithe has now closed. Picture: Amazon

Sevenoaks District Council Leader Cllr Peter Fleming said that the combination of the job listings and the work done suggested that Amazon is indeed destined for the town.

“It is clear that the former Baby Gap store has had the level of work done to it that would certainly be needed for what is described as the next generation of shop,” he added.

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“It is looking increasingly likely that the former Baby Gap store in Bligh’s Meadow will be one of the first Amazon Fresh stores outside London.”

The Times reported last year that Amazon was planning to open as many as 20 new shops per year starting in 2022, with deals for 25 sites already agreed.

The online retailer boasted that its new shops are the first in the UK to offer ‘Just Walk Out (JWO)Technology’, which automatically detects when products are taken from, or returned to the shelves, and keeps track of them in a virtual cart.

Amazon says it wants to concentrate on its Amazon Fresh concept following the closure of its 4-Star store at Bluewater. Picture: Amazon
Amazon says it wants to concentrate on its Amazon Fresh concept following the closure of its 4-Star store at Bluewater. Picture: Amazon

“When you’re done shopping, you can just leave the store. Shortly after, we’ll charge your Amazon account and send you a receipt,” explained a spokesperson.

Meanwhile, it’s 4-star shop has closed in Bluewater – less than six months after it opened.

Customers were offered curated displays of items rated 4 stars or more, top sellers, or goods which were trending online.

Featured products ranged across consumer electronics, toys, games, books, kitchen and homeware.

Cllr Fleming speculated that news of Amazon’s latest shopping venture would not be welcomed by many in Sevenoaks.

‘On balance I believe this will be a positive addition for the town’

“Amazon have their detractors and the thought of this type of shopping experience won’t excite some,” he explained.

“The positives, however, are that Amazon Fresh’s supermarket partner is Morrisons which will hopefully mean a better range of products and prices for town dwellers – of which I am one myself – who tend to shop meal to meal rather than partake in the traditional ‘big shop’.

“It also shows huge faith in the town as a destination, for those who have watched the secretive work taking place it is obvious that this has been a very expensive refit.

“On balance I believe this will be a positive addition for the town.”



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