Alex Lawrence, Content Executive, IPM
The recent news of the merger between Asda and Sainsbury’s
is a clear indication that retail is changing drastically, leaving many questioning
what the future of grocery retailing may look like. The £51bn-sales merger
comes as a protectionist move against powerful organisations, namely Amazon,
who are moving inexorably to the food retail market. Recent speculation
suggests that Amazon could buy UK supermarket chain Morrisons, signalling the
dramatic shift in the framework of food retail in which tech-forward online
giants are the new major players. As Asda and Sainsbury’s claimed in their joint statement: “The retail sector is going through significant
and rapid change, as customer shopping habits continue to evolve.”
Earlier this year, Amazon made its debut in the brick-and-mortar
food retail business by launching Amazon
Go, an entirely automated supermarket, that allows customers to shop in-store
without the need for the physical check-out process. Using a unique technology,
Amazon Go aims to streamline the offline shopping experience by making queuing
to pay a thing of the past. On the 22nd January 2018, a prototype
Amazon Go store opened to the public at Amazon’s headquarters in Seattle.
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