It’s 11.30 a.m. on Gracechurch Street in London. I’ve got a quick half-hour between meetings to grab some lunch, and I know Amazon Fresh is the perfect place for it.
Amazon Fresh still feels like a newcomer to London’s high streets, even with more than 15 stores now open across Greater London. Today, I’ve come to the newest Amazon Fresh store in Monument, which boasts a wide selection of products, including its own food brand–‘by Amazon’–and tasty on-the-go meals for breakfast, dinner, and most critically for me, lunch.
The store is hard to miss and is only a few minutes’ walk from Monument station. With the store’s Just Walk Out technology, shopping is quick and easy – I simply grab a basket, walk through the entry gates, and start browsing.
The bakery section offers pastries and fresh bread, and two dairy and oat milk coffee machines to complete the perfect potential breakfast combo. I resist the blueberry cheesecake muffin, which I know from previous visits is a winner.
The rest of the store is full of groceries and household essentials, including fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy products, toiletries, and even a deli section. It would be easy to grab a missing ingredient for dinner later, or stock up on anything extra I might have forgotten in my weekly shop. Amazon’s range of own-brand products already provides a lot of choice, but thanks to a partnership with Morrisons there’s also plenty of fresh and frozen Morrisons' products available.
Some of the ‘by Amazon’ food products are handmade in the store every morning by staff, meaning the variety of lunch options in front of me are guaranteed to be pretty tasty. I can choose between sandwiches, wraps, salads – even poke bowls and sushi platters from Sushi Kano. There’s also a hot food section which includes options like soups and filled baguettes. Putting together a strong meal deal combo is, to me, an underappreciated art, so I take my time making the absolute optimal choice.
At last, I settle on a pesto and mozzarella pasta salad that looks like it will keep me going for the rest of the day. For a snack, I pick up an oat and yoghurt pot. My basket is looking pretty healthy so far, and I think I’ve justified a San Pellegrino as my drink option to round out my lunch – all for £3.90 which is an excellent deal!
For an even more productive visit, the Amazon Hub counter within the store works as a convenient way to pick up and return Amazon.co.uk orders for free. All you need is your order barcode to pick up your parcel. The Monument store is open from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day, so you can collect your order at whatever time suits you.
Lunch secured, it’s time to get back to the office. Amazon’s Just Walk Out Technology automatically detects the products I’ve taken from (or returned to) the store shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual basket. The technology is even smart enough to know what you picked up when you’re using your own bag.
Select Amazon Fresh stores in the UK have gateless entrances without the need to scan and identify yourself – and no Amazon account is needed. Instead, once you’re done shopping, you can exit by scanning either your in-store QR code or payment card at the exit gate. At certain stores, there are also staffed checkout stations in case you want one of the store team to check out your items for you.
Zero queues and almost no time spent checking out means I’m in and out of the store in record time. My receipt, which is sent to my Amazon account after I’ve checked out, gives me a summary of everything I've purchased. Thanks to a quick visit and checkout process, I’m back in the office with my lunch just in time for my next meeting. As I sit at my desk, I’m already thinking about my next visit and all the potential meal deal combos just waiting to be discovered…