Online retail giant Amazon has launched fresh food deliveries in the UK in its latest push into the grocery market.
AmazonFresh is available from today to customers in 69 central and east London postcodes who are members of the retailer’s Prime subscription service, for an additional £6.99 a month.
Amazon said customers could now order their full weekly grocery shop including fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, seafood and dairy products from an initial selection of more than 130,000 items.
Major brands include Morrisons, Coca-Cola, Kellogg’s and Walkers, while more than 50 London producers such as C.Lidgate, FishWorks, Paxton & Whitfield, Konditor & Cook, Bad Brownie and Daylesford are also involved.
The extra charge includes unlimited delivery for orders above £40 but deliveries under the threshold will cost £3.99 each.
The arrival of AmazonFresh, which has been operating in the US for nine years, comes after the retailer signed a deal with the supermarket Morrisons, which has agreed to provide wholesale ambient, fresh and frozen products to Amazon despite already operating its own website in partnership with Ocado.
AmazonFresh vice president Ajay Kavan said: “The bar in grocery retailing is exceptionally high.”
Amazon began selling chilled and frozen items via its Prime Now one-hour delivery service in certain areas last September before launching Amazon Pantry in November, which delivers everyday household products to Prime members nationwide for a fee of £2.99 per box.
Amazon’s expansion comes as the British grocery sector continues to be locked in a supermarket price war, which has seen the Big Four supermarkets slash their prices to protect market share from the rise of German discounters Aldi and Lidl.
The launch of AmazonFresh will ramp up competition in London, posing a threat to Ocado and leaving Tesco and Sainsbury’s “exposed”, City analysts have said.
Bruno Monteyne of Bernstein said the launch of AmazonFresh will “further worry investors about the fundamentals and prospects of the UK food retail market”.
He added: “Given the London focus and upmarket bias of the offer, we would expect Sainsbury’s to be most impacted from an investor sentiment point of view. However Tesco and Ocado have the largest London based online food retail and therefore will be exposed as well.”
The comments come after the online retail giant began rolling out fresh food deliveries in the UK, with the service available to customers in 69 central and east London postcodes who are members of the retailer’s Prime subscription service, for an additional £6.99 a month.
The arrival of Amazon’s fresh food delivery service looks set to intensify the supermarket price war raging through the grocery sector, which has seen the Big Four - consisting of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons - look to counter the threat of German discounters Aldi and Lidl by slashing their prices.
It comes after Amazon signed a deal in February with Morrisons, which has agreed to provide wholesale ambient, fresh and frozen products to Amazon despite already operating its own website in partnership with Ocado.