Amazon ready for assault on UK grocery market

Online shopping giant Amazon is reportedly gearing up to enter the UK grocery market, pitting it against major players such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

Staff at Amazon's Doncaster centre
Staff at Amazon's Doncaster centre

The Seattle-based firm, which employs more than 7,000 staff in the UK, has signed a 10-year lease on a former 300,000-plus ft Tesco warehouse in Surrey, according to Retail Week.

This has renewed speculation that the firm, which ranges from selling books to making TV programmes, will launch its Amazon Fresh food operation in the UK.

Amazon Fresh, launched in the US in 2007, would challenge the rest of the UK grocery market which is locked in a fierce supermarket war that has seen prices fall by around 1.6 per cent over the last year.

Retail Week reports Amazon has also secured the rent on two more warehouses in Leicestershire and Staffordshire, which are also suitable to handle fresh food.

Analysts have long expected a UK launch of the group fresh food service since it was first trialled in the US eight years ago.

It has been reported that Amazon Fresh would target 2 per cent of the UK’s £149bn grocery market, which is three times the market share of the country’s biggest online only grocer, Ocado.

Last month Amazon, celebrating its 20th anniversary, briefly became the world’s biggest retailer by market value by leapfrogging Asda owner Wal-Mart.