The FINANCIAL — Amazon continues its global expansion. Amazon.co.uk announced that members will get fast grocery delivery – free with their Prime membership in London. For the first time, Prime members in around 300 postcodes across Greater London and the South East (including London, Surrey, Hampshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire) can do their weekly shop on Amazon Fresh, with incredible local produce, favourite brands and artisan products, included in the cost of Prime membership.
Supermarkets were facing a fresh challenge after online giant Amazon announced that Prime customers can now get their food shop delivered for free. Shoppers using the £1.17billion company’s subscription service are now able to get groceries delivered straight to their door without leaving their sofas. It replaces the previous system where Prime members – who already had to pay £7.99 – needed to pay an extra £2.99 for a food order. Now, as long as customers are in London and the south-east – including Surrey, Hampshire, Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire – and spend more than £40 on Fresh orders they will get their groceries delivered free, Daily Mail reported.
Selection includes meat, seafood, produce, snacks and household essentials – everything needed for a weekly shop. Free delivery is available in parts of the South East, including Woking and Guildford, and rolling out across the UK by the end of the year, Prime members will benefit from Amazon’s fastest grocery delivery offer in the UK, usually as fast as same-day for orders placed before 9pm in most areas.
This is the boldest move it has ever made on this side of the Atlantic, and the worst possible news for the supermarkets who were finally getting comfortable with online deliveries in the middle of a pandemic. It comes as Amazon is in the process of acquiring a 16 per cent stake in Deliveroo. Before Covid-19, the Competition and Markets Authority was investigating whether a union of Amazon and Deliveroo, two of the strongest companies in the fast grocery market, would be damaging to competition. Then the pandemic hit Deliveroo, and the many restaurants on which it relies were forced to close. Deliveroo argued that it required “significant additional funding” to survive and Amazon can provide this. More recently, the CMA provisionally concluded that a 16 per cent stake was not significant enough to reduce competition. The final ruling is expected next Thursday, according to Evening Standard.
Amazon.co.uk has offered food and drink items since the launch of its Grocery Store in 2010, which features hundreds of thousands of ambient products. Amazon.co.uk launched Amazon Fresh in June 2016, where customers can choose from a wide range of groceries and home items including electronics, fresh flowers, gifts, pet supplies and toys, as well as baby, health and beauty products – including same-day delivery as part of the weekly shop.
In the USA Amazon Fresh offers free grocery delivery to customers’ doorsteps for orders more than $35 that can be completed within a two-hour window. The service offers a lower-cost alternative to Whole Foods, an Amazon-owned grocery store that lists products available for delivery on Amazon’s website. Users can not receive a single delivery order that includes items from both Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods, according to FOX Business.
Yesterday, Jeff Bezos with Tim Cook of Apple, Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and Sundar Pichai of Google testified before Congress to defend the size of their companies. Before the hearing started, President Trump tweeted on twitter: “If Congress doesn’t bring fairness to Big Tech, which they should have done years ago, I will do it myself with Executive Orders. Read more.