Amazon to Open London Hair Salon to Test AR and Other Retail Technologies

By McKenzie Carpenter Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Amazon announced today the ecommerce giant will be exploring the cosmetology sector as the company plans to open an Amazon Salon in London to test augmented reality (AR) and other retail technologies.

A person receiving a haircut.

Amazon Salon

In a blog post, Amazon announced the company will be opening a salon in Spitalfields, a trendy shopping and restaurant region of East London. The salon will span across 1,500 square feet and cover two floors. In addition, the new salon will be located within walking distance from Amazon’s United Kingdom (UK) headquarters.

At the new salon business, customers will be able to experience various virtual hair colors through AR technology. Furthermore, Amazon will be providing each customer with a Fire tablet in-store to use during their appointments for entertainment purposes.

In addition, the company is implementing “point-and-learn” technology where salon customers can point at haircare products in the store and view their details on a display screen. Customers can then purchase the items if they scan a QR code or buy directly from the Amazon UK website.

This new salon company follows the launch of the Amazon Professional Beauty Store on Amazon UK. The new store provides cosmetology businesses access to more than 10,000 salon and spa products and supplies.

Elena Lavagni, owner of Neville Hair & Beauty Salon, will be providing the haircare and styling services. Lavagni’s company is a highly-regarded independent beauty business in London. Lavagni has even serviced events like Paris Fashion Week and the Cannes Film Festival.

John Boumphrey, UK country manager at Amazon, said in a statement, “We have designed this salon for customers to come and experience some of the best technology, hair care products and stylists in the industry...We want this unique venue to bring us one step closer to customers, and it will be a place where we can collaborate with the industry and test new technologies.”

According to the Amazon blog, the salon business will be open seven days a week initially only to Amazon employees, but the business plans on opening bookings to the general public in the coming weeks. A price list for services is not yet available. Since Amazon is testing this salon, the company currently has no further plans to open other locations.

Timely Opening

Amazon opening a salon business to its employees comes at the right time as the UK lifted COVID-19 restrictions on April 12 after being in lockdown for months. As a result of lockdowns, salons in the island nation are now experiencing a huge surge in haircuts as people were unable to book appointments for quite some time.

Even though many restrictions in the UK have been lifted, the Amazon Salon will implement several safety measures such as providing capacity reductions, separating screens between styling stations, face masks and hand sanitizer, and performing temperature checks.

This step into the cosmetology industry may come as a surprise for some, but Amazon has invested resources in a variety of categories including gaming, music, and grocery shopping. In March, Startup Savant reported Amazon launched its first Amazon Fresh contact-free grocery store in the UK. The business has since opened two more locations.

About the Author

Headshot for author McKenzie Carpenter

McKenzie Carpenter is a graduate of Central Michigan University with a B.A.A. in Integrative Public Relations and French. McKenzie has previously worked for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.

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