// Amazon bolsters property team with Matt Birch as it mulls bricks-and-mortar roll-out
// Matt Birch spent a decade with Sainsbury’s before joining Central England Co-op in 2017
// Birch is reportedly one of the Amazon executives who has been working to identify sites for its Amazon Go stores
Amazon has hired Sainsbury’s former commercial operations director as part of efforts to bolster its property team amid speculation it was looking for sites to bring Amazon Go to the UK.
According to The Times, Birch joined the online retailer in May.
He had spent almost a decade with Sainsbury’s before joining Central England Co-op in 2017, where he served as trading executive for less than two years.
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He also previously served as property director for German cafe chain Tchibo.
Birch is reportedly among the Amazon executives who have been meeting to identify sites for new physical stores in the UK.
Property sources told The Times that Amazon was considering how to expand its present grocery offering – which is currently serviced via a Morrisions partnership – through its Prime Pantry and Amazon Fresh delivery services.
The online retail giant is also reportedly still potentially going to introduce its cashierless convenience store concept, Amazon Go, in London.
Amazon currently has 17 Amazon Go stores in the US as well as 18 book stores.
While an Amazon spokesman said the company did not comment on rumour or speculation, the company’s founder Jeff Bezos has said previously that it was “very interested” in physical stores.