AmazonFresh grocery service takes on UK supermarkets

Online retail giant launches its weekly shopping service in central and east London

AmazonFresh has officially launched in the UK, with the internet retail giant rolling out its grocery delivery service to 69 postcodes in central and east London.

The retail giant has expanded its foothold in the grocery industry, and is now offering users the ability to do their full weekly shop from a range of over 130,000 products.

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This includes major brands and smaller local shops, as well as goods from trendy, artisanal outlets in locations such as Borough Market and Notting Hill.

The service is available exclusively to Amazon Prime subscribers, for a monthly fee of 6.99. The company is offering a 30-day free trial, and unlimited delivery for orders over 40.

Amazon has been dabbling in this market for years, offering food, drinks and sundries through its 'grocery' department since 2010.

In November last year, the company expanded this service through the launch of Amazon Pantry, which allowed customers fill up boxes with various everyday essentials for one-day delivery.

With the launch of AmazonFresh, however, the company is now poised to be a very serious threat to existing grocers and supermarkets. "Today's launch of Amazon Fresh in London marks a monumental turning point for the grocery industry," said NetBooster's UK head Jens Nielsen.

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"With traditional grocers already facing heavy competition from large discount supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl, Amazon Fresh should be a further call to action for grocers to consider their competitiveness in this changing market."

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Rupal Karia, Fujitsu's managing director of retail and hospitality for the UK, was confident that Amazon's online-only business model would translate well to grocery shopping.

"Many consumers now prefer going online rather than heading to their local high street," he said, "due to the growing number of mobile devices and online channels now available but also the convenience for everyday purchases."

"This move from Amazon is bold, but will undoubtedly be successful, especially in light of the recent collaboration with UK supermarket Morrisons."

While the outlook for Amazon's newest venture appears to be good, the company is committed to taking it slow, and not over-stretching itself.

"We are launching with a comprehensive offer in a limited area and will take our time to hone and improve our service based on our learnings and feedback from our customers," said AmazonFresh vice president Ajay Kavan. "We will be very methodical and considered in how we roll this service out further in the UK."

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