Rolling out a new redesign across its US website in the final third of last year, Amazon has finally begun to update its other regional retail portals, with consumers in the UK becoming the first to see a slicker, more tablet-friendly design over the past few days.

The new design does away with the thick blue and orange navigation bars and but retains the familiar look and feel with a , drawing focus to the search bar and the featured products on the front page.

With slightly different offerings in the UK than in the US, Amazon draws focus to its LoveFilm video streaming service, its Amazon MP3 service, Kindle products, official apps and Audible audiobook subscriptions. The featured services mimic the Prime Instant Video, Amazon Appstore, Cloud Drive and the Kindle Fire, which feature prominently on the US store.

Screen Shot 2012 07 23 at 13.26.59 520x165 Ahead of rumored tablet expansion and Appstore launch, Amazon overhauls its UK store

Amazon has been increasing its focus on Europe over the course of the year, opening a new London development and design hub for its LoveFilm and PushButton employees in London this weekend.

Last month, the company also put out a public call for developers to submit their mobile apps for international distribution in its Android Appstore, confirming its imminent plans for an international Appstore rollout later this year, starting with the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy and Spain this summer.

This suggests that Amazon is gearing up to launch the Kindle Fire in Europe, whether it is an updated model of the device that launched last year in the US, or a range of new 7-inch and 10-inch models that take the fight to Apple, Google and other Android tablet makers.

Image Credit: Sean MacEntee