Amazon, the internet retailer that started out as a bookseller, is now selling food and alcohol in the UK. The development means that mobile shoppers now can order groceries online wherever they are in the UK.
The move comes just days after Amazon launched its grocery service, which has been a staple of Amazon.com in the US, in Germany.
Longer-lasting foods and household goods are among the more than 22,000 different products now sold in the UK by Amazon. Brands including Kraft, Netle, PepsiCo, Proctor & Gamble and Eurofoods are among those stocked.
The move extends Amazon’s UK reach dramatically in line with a vision of becoming “the world’s most customer-centric company” and offering anything a shopper might want to buy online.”
James Leeson, director of grocery at Amazon.co.uk, said: “Amazon.co.uk’s aim is to be the place where customers can find and discover any product they want to buy online, and with the introduction of this new store there are thousands of household, niche, ethnic and international grocery items, all available at the click of a button.
“With unlimited virtual shelf space, customers can choose from a wide variety of products, all of which benefit from free delivery. We will work tirelessly to increase the selection of grocery items available to be delivered direct to customers’ doors.”
Goods can also be bought via smartphone, using the Amazon app, while delivery is by Amazon’s free Supersaver three-to-five day UK service, or through next-day delivery for a one-off annual charge.
The service aims to set itself apart from rivals in two areas: by supplying niche international or specialist products, and by making bulk savings available.
Our view: In the past the UK supermarkets moved into bookselling territory – so it’s a change to see it being done the other way round. Amazon won’t altogether challenge the established UK supermarkets and their grocery services because of its dearth of fresh food.
But it will also, to my knowledge at least, make Amazon the first retailer to offer a UK-wide online grocery service that can be ordered by mobile phone. (Ocado being geographically limited, and none of the other supermarkets offering mobile as yet.) And of course delivery is free. So we think that makes Amazon’s grocery service competition that food retailers will take seriously.