Amazon has entered the grocery-delivery market today (9th June) after "much anticipation", with the launch of AmazonFresh for customers in Central and East London.
The service is only open to Amazon Prime members in 69 Central and East London postcodes, but offers more than 130,000 products from a mixture of well-known brands and local food producers, including vendors from Borough Market.
Amazon is offering same-day delivery for the groceries, with one-hour delivery slots from 7am to 11pm, seven days a week.
Ajay Kavan, vice president of AmazonFresh, said: “The bar in grocery retailing is exceptionally high. The supermarkets and grocers are amongst the very best retailers in the world. We believe that the key to the long term success of AmazonFresh is to bring together the low prices, vast selection, fast delivery options and customer experience that Amazon customers know and love."
“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,” Kavan added. “We will be very methodical and considered in how we roll this service out further in the UK.”
In addition to fresh fruit and vegetables, meat, seafood, baked goods, dairy and other grocery products, AmazonFresh customers can also choose from a wide range of pet supplies, baby, health and beauty products.
Retail analyst Nick Bubb noted that Amazon was "excited" about the potential for AmazonFresh "despite the myriad of decent competitors in this online space", and "took the trouble to brief city analysts one-to-one yesterday on its key strengths".
Bubb added: "Low prices are a given... the massive range is certainly impressive and, interestingly, as well as fresh food from Morrisons, it includes prestigious 'local' shops like Gail’s the bakers and C. Lidgate, the well-known butcher from Holland Park. And the next-day delivery slots are bookable on a one hour basis, which is very punchy, despite the challenges in delivering on time to, say, North-West London from the Bow warehouse."
The grocery delivery service is available for Amazon Prime members for £6.99 per month with unlimited delivery for orders above £40.
Amazon has also recently announced plans to invest $3bn (£2.1bn) in its Indian operations, bringing the total amount invested in the country to more than $5bn. In 2014, the e-tailer revealed it was to invest $2bn in India and already employs 45,000 people in the country.