Amazon Ratchets Up Pressure On UK Grocers With Pantry Service
Amazon.com is giving Britain’s embattled UK supermarkets another challenge by introducing a grocery service for members of its Prime service.
Amazon Pantry, which debuted in the US about 18 months ago, will be available across the UK this month, the Seattle-based e-commerce giant said in a statement. The online site will offer more than 4,000 everyday/essential items, from beer to pet food.
The move will provide a fresh source of concern for established supermarket chains such as Tesco, and also for Internet-only grocer Ocado. The industry’s profit margins are being pressured by a price war resulting from the expansion of German discounters Aldi and Lidl. Sainsbury's said that it sees no end in sight to the falling grocery prices that have weighed on sales and profitability.
Amazon Pantry customers will be able to purchase a box of groceries weighing a maximum of 20 kilograms at a cost of £2.99 for same-day delivery. If they exceed that limit in a single order, delivery of each additional box will be charged at a price of 99 pence.
"Amazon Pantry has been designed to take the heavy-lifting out of replenishing the often bulky basics and store-cupboard essentials that people need every day,” Helene Parthenay, Pantry manager at Amazon.co.uk, said in a statement.
Amazon Pantry is the latest extension of Amazon’s UK grocery services. Prime Now customers in the English cities of London and Birmingham can already buy chilled or frozen items through the service, and some groceries have been available to purchase through its website since 2010.
Researcher Mintel forecasts UK online grocery sales will increase by 15 per cent to £8.6 billion this year.
News by Bloomberg, edited by ESM. To subscribe to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine, click here.