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AmazonFresh launches in London

AmazonFresh launches in London

The AmazonFresh grocery delivery service has launched in London, the retailer announced this week.

The new and grocery service enables customers to choose the hour between 7am and 11pm in which they want their order delivered, seven days a week. They can opt for same-day delivery from 5pm for orders placed by 1pm. The service is initially available to Amazon Prime members who want their deliveries made to one of 69 postcodes in Central and East London. Orders are placed through the website or mobile app.

Ajay Kavan, vice president of AmazonFresh, says the launch in a relatively limited area will give the retailer, which is the UK’s largest online trader, ranked Elite in the IRUK Top500 research, chance to develop its service before rolling it out further in the UK.

“The bar in grocery retailing is exceptionally high,” he said. “The supermarkets and grocers are amongst the very best retailers in the world. We believe that the key to the long-term success of AmazonFresh is to bring together the low prices, vast selection, fast delivery options and customer experience that Amazon customers know and love.”

Shoppers can choose from 130,000 items that include well-known brands as well as products from local London food producers based in areas including Borough Market and Notting Hill, and ranges from fresh fruit and vegetables to meat, seafood, dairy and bakery to baby and health and beauty products. Perishable products have a guaranteed minimum shelf life. When items are not available, customer won’t be charged for the free substitute product they receive instead. Notably, Morrisons is among Amazon’s suppliers, having signed up to supply the retailer on a wholesale basis earlier this year.

Amazon has been selling grocery products in the UK since 2010 through its Grocery Store. In November 2015 it launched Amazon Pantry exclusively to Amazon Prime members. That enabled them to fill a standard size of pantry box, choosing from a range of 7,000 items, for a flat one-day delivery fee.

Our view: The service is set to challenge the UK’s supermarkets, which, as a sector pioneered timed delivery slots and have honed their service over the years to offer click and collect, same-day deliveries and more. What the UK supermarkets have, on the whole, in common is the use of their own delivery fleets. Amazon has historically used third-party delivery companies and collection points – and Amazon Fresh will be no different, delivering via third-party carriers through Amazon Logistics.

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