American electronic commerce and cloud computing firm Amazon has finally launched its food delivery service, AmazonFresh, in parts of central and east London on Thursday.
Shoppers in the eligible London postcodes who already have a membership under the Amazon Prime subscription service will be able to select from a range of more than 130,000 products. This includes tens of thousands of grocery items.
AmazonFresh will primarily offer a full grocery service at economical prices in London from a distribution center in the east of the capital. It said it would operate small and medium sized external carriers for deliveries.
Amazon’s offer is inclusive of fresh and frozen products from Morrisons, with whom it agreed for a wholesale supply deal in February. Amazon will also provide major brands including Coca-cola, Kellogg’s, Danone, Warburtons and Walkers, and products from local food producers and shops in locations, like London’s Borough Market.
Ajay Kavan, vice president of AmazonFresh stated that, 'We are launching with a comprehensive offer in a limited area and will take our time to hone and improve our service,' further adding that they will be methodical and considered in how we roll this service out further in the country.
UK’s grocery market has been shaken by changing shopping behaviors in recent years, the wake of German discounters Aldi and Lidl, and a harsh price competition. According to analysts, they see AmazonFresh as a potential challenge to the industry over time.
The world’s biggest online retailer has offered some food and drink items to British clients since 2010. In November, it presented a packaged groceries offer already existing in Germany and Japan to premium Amazon Prime service members in Britain.
The British version of AmazonFresh is a long-anticipated step by Amazon to enter the UK grocery market. The country has one of the world’s most progressive online markets, along with the four big supermarkets Tesco, Sainsbury’s Wal-Mart’s Asda and Morrisons as rivals with Ocado, a specialist delivery company.
Nonetheless, industry research group IGD said that the market is estimated to almost double to 17.2 billion pounds—amounting to $25 billion in five years to 2020."