Amazon expands online grocery offering with trial in London and Birmingham

Amazon is expanding its online grocery service in the UK to include frozen and chilled products as it ups competition with the supermarkets in the ecommerce space.

From today (29 September), Amazon customers in London and Birmingham will be able to buy from a range of 50 branded products including Lurpak butter, Cathedral City cheddar cheese, Birds Eye fish fingers and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

That is alongside the range of “store cupboard” staples it already offers, such as coffee, bottled water and tea.

The service will be available to members of Amazon’s Prime Now service, which offers one-hour delivery. Amazon says it plans to keep adding products to the service in future.

The move has raised speculation that Amazon will launch its full ‘Fresh’ online grocery service in the UK. Last month the retailer secured a 300,000 square foot location, just inside the M25, that looked ideally positioned to deliver fresh food to London.

Fresh is currently only available in a small number of cities in America, including Seattle, California and New York. Only Amazon Prime members, who pay $99 a month for benefits such as free next-day delivery and access to content including music, films and TV shows, can access the service.

They pay an extra $200 a year on top of that for unlimited Fresh deliveries.

An Amazon spokesman says: “Prime Now customers already benefit from ultra-fast delivery on everything from essentials like bottled water, coffee and nappies. We are excited to be adding a range of chilled and frozen items to this selection as we continue to expand the number and variety of products that can be ordered for delivery within 60 minutes.”

Online is expected to be the fastest growing sector in UK grocery, increasing its market share to 8.6% by April 2020, up from 5% in April 2015, according to IGD.

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  • Peter Cunningham 1 Oct 2015 at 5:03 pm

    Retailers need to take this threat seriously and react now. The big UK retailers were caught sleeping when Lidl and Aldi launched and they can’t afford to underestimate the potential threat from Amazon. One way retailers can take the front foot is to really connect with and listen to their customers, of course social media can play a key role here but also initiatives like Waitrose’s ‘Pick your own offers’ can help. But also by turning their good loyal customers into shopper advocates to bring them new ones they can hope to compete against the huge reach of Amazon. One retailer who is doing this is Ocado

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