Amazon has a hair salon now — because it can

amazon salon
(Image credit: Amazon)

Amazon, yes that Amazon, is known for doing or selling darn near everything. But there’s always more to do, which may explain why Amazon has just opened up a real, working hair salon. It’s called Amazon Salon, naturally.

Well, Toto, we’re not in Bellvue anymore. Least of all because Amazon Salon is located in east London.

Amazon has been a huge player in the world of online retail, though in recent years it’s begun branching out into other more physical spaces. Whether that’s the cashier-free Amazon Go grocery stores, Whole Foods, mall kiosks or the Amazon Books book stores. 

Now there’s a hair salon, which has opened up on Brushfield Street in the Spitalfields area of London. At times it almost feels as though Amazon, which has been cited as one of the primary reasons for the decline of brick and mortar stores, is taking upon itself to slowly claim that space for itself. 

Though, this is the first time it’s really branched out into something that can’t be described as “you’re here to buy stuff from us.” Then again, Amazon Salon still has that feel about it. Even if you can get yourself a haircut in the process. 

According to John Boumphrey, Amazon’s UK Country Manager, the point of Amazon Salon is “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.”

amazon salon QR codes

(Image credit: Amazon)

But it also sounds like a demonstration area for products you can then buy on Amazon. Not only can customers “enjoy entertainment on Fire tablets,” there will also be a selection of hair care products on display. Products that all have their own QR code that takes you to the relevant page on Amazon.

It’s not entirely clear whether this is just products that you put on your hair, like shampoo, conditioner, dyes, and so on, or if it will also extend to some of the tech the salon uses. After all, what better way to advertise a new blow dryer, or some other hair-friendly technological machine, than to use it on paying customers?

It’s all about corporate synergy. Real estate is in a dire situation right now, especially after the pandemic, and you can’t sell haircuts over the internet. What better way to reach a new market, and sell them stuff in the process?

Amazon salon AR

(Image credit: Amazon)

Particularly when you can throw in some gimmicks like augmented reality hair consultations that will show people what they’ll look like with different hair colors. A number of hair dye companies, like L’Oréal, already offer services that let you do this virtually, either via a smartphone app or on their website.

Amazon Salon is only open to Amazon employees right now, but apparently it will be opening to the public “in the coming weeks.” Hair and styling is provided by Neville Hair & Beauty Salon, though there’s no word on how much it’s all likely to cost.

Hopefully it’ll be cheaper with a Prime membership. Whether that will be called “Prime Cuts” is another story, since there are an awful lot of butchers that use that name. The last thing Amazon is going to want is any Sweeny Todd-like comparisons.

Good thing Fleet Street is almost two miles away.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.