Amazon is now offering its grocery delivery service for free to Prime members, starting in London and the South East and expanding to further across the UK by the end of the year.
Prime members can now use the Amazon Fresh service without paying additional delivery fees on orders over £40. Delivery is promised in a two-hour window and Amazon says the service is usually as fast as same-day when orders are placed before 9pm. At the same time, the minimum order threshold has been reduced to £15 from £40.
The move comes as leading UK supermarkets have massively expanded their online delivery services in the light of higher ecommerce demand prompted by Covid-19 lockdown. Tesco, for example, has more than doubled the availability of delivery slots to 1.3m a week and has seen online grow to 16% of its total UK sales from 9% previously. while Waitrose has seen its online orders more than double this year so far and has responded by expanding fulfilment and delivery from stores and opening new fulfilment centres in London. Ocado, meanwhile, has said that Covid-19 will redraw the landscape for online groceries.
From today, Prime members in 300 postcodes in London and the South East, including Surrey, Hampshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire, will be able to order food from dairy products, fresh meat, fish, fruit and vegetables to household essentials and general groceries from brands including Booths, Whole Foods Market, Pepsi and Danone and specialist producers including Gail’s Artisan baker, C. Lidgate and Paxton & Whitfield. The retailer plans to expand the service to millions of Prime members across the UK this year.
Today’s news means that members of the Amazon Prime membership scheme currently pay £79 a year for free same-day grocery delivery alongside free general merchandise one-day delivery services, video and music streaming, photo storage, Prime Reading services, and free gaming via Twitch.
The retailer has been selling groceries in the UK since it launched its Grocery Store in 2010 and followed that up with Amazon Fresh in 2016, offering until now, same-day groceries for an additional fee.