‘NO CHECKOUT’ STORE GETS CLOSER
Amazon.com Inc. is laying the groundwork to bring its checkout-free grocery store Amazon Go to Europe, as the U.S. giant steps up its efforts to crack the US$800 billion global market. The U.K. Intellectual Property Office on Friday approved the Seattlebased company’s application to trademark the slogans “No Lines. No Checkout. (No, Seriously.)” and “No Queue. No Checkout. (No, Seriously.)” A corresponding application is being reviewed by the European Union’s equivalent agency. The company has opened a futuristic test store under that name in Seattle that has no staff or checkouts. Instead, it uses sensors and a smartphone application to top up customers’ “virtual shopping carts” when they remove items from shelves and place them in their bags. When they leave the store, Amazon adds up the cost of items purchased and charges shoppers’ accounts. Amazon declined to comment.