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Amazon Expands From Online To Hairline, But Will It Be A Fringe Affair?

A bit off the top

Amazon UK’s surprise entry into the hairstyling sector, via a 1.5K SF unit in central London, has provoked surprise. Is there no sector of the economy it regards as off limits? Is there nothing it will not disrupt?

The use of new technology at an Amazon salon in central London opens up the possibility of selling haircuts via the Amazon platform. It also opens the door to one of humanity’s few guaranteed retail income streams — a previous cliche of the retail sector was that you can't get a haircut online. 

The challenge now for Amazon is to prevent its hairdressing business from being a hair today, gone tomorrow idea that will last no longer than an adequate fade.

Amazon said it plans augmented reality technology, which would allow customers to preview a new look, and the prospect of ordering from a menu of haircuts via a QR code, Retail Week reported. It is a sign of the ways in which technology could change post-pandemic retail.

For now the Amazon hair salon in Spitalfields, close to Amazon’s 600K SF Shoreditch HQ, will be an amenity for Amazon staff only. 

Amazon bosses said the salon will bring the $125B retail empire “one step closer to its customers”, a claim that shows that managers steeped in remote customer servicing have at least grasped the basics: performing a haircut from much further than a step away invites unhappy accidents.