Sticking with Birmingham this week, this time with an online retail story as internet giants Amazon announce plans to launch ‘Amazon Fresh’ their online grocery shopping service throughout the UK. Prior to the launch they have dipped their toe into the retail waters and started selling the super fast online groceries in the Birmingham area this week, to test the service and iron out any problems before a full UK service roll out early next year.
Since Tuesday 29th September, grocery shoppers in Birmingham can expect one-hour delivery on around 50 chilled food products as the retail giant tests their delivery provision and online system. Following on from this launch, they will then be rolling the service out in London sometime during October.
Amazon Fresh has already been launched in the US, with some success and these two trials in London and Birmingham are allowing Amazon to test their supply chain before launching Amazon Fresh throughout the UK early next year.
Speaking to Retail week, a spokesman for Amazon described the launch:
“Prime Now customers already benefit from ultra-fast delivery on everything from essentials like bottled water, coffee and nappies. We are excited to be adding a range of chilled and frozen items to this selection as we continue to expand the number and variety of products that can be ordered for delivery within 60 minutes.”
In order to distribute the goods in Birmingham, Amazon is is leasing a vast warehouse from Logicor, in the ‘Midlands Golden Triangle’ one of the UK’s most popular distribution locations, in Bardon, Leicestershire, which is ideally placed to distribute goods throughout the Midlands area.
Sources suggest that Amazon are also close to finalising the lease on another Warehouse for further distribution of their Amazon Fresh service and have also leased a large warehouse in Hatfield, ready for operations in the South of England.
In the US the service is currently only available to residents of Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco and Seattle. As with Amazon Prime, customers pay an annual charge for the delivery ($200 – around £128.40) which is double the cost of Amazon Prime. According to sources, around 5% of US online shoppers claim to be subscribed to the service, which is a reasonable uptake considering it’s only available in a few areas. So we’ll be watching with interest to see how it takes off here.