Amazon takes on grocers with ‘free’ home delivery

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Challenge: The Prime subscription will now include two-hour delivery slots from Amazon Fresh


Supermarkets face fresh challenge as Amazon announces that Prime customers can get their food shop delivered for no extra charge

Supermarkets face a fresh challenge after Amazon announced that Prime customers can get their food shop delivered for no extra charge. 

The Prime subscription, at £7.99 per month, offers free one-day delivery on the wider Amazon website, and access to film, music and television streaming. 

But now the service will include two-hour delivery slots from Amazon Fresh as part of an attempt to capitalise on the booming online grocery industry. 

From today, the Amazon offer only applies to Prime members in London and the south-east who spend more than £40, but the firm said it would expand its free delivery to ‘millions more’ customers around the UK by the end of the year.

Challenge: The Prime subscription will now include two-hour delivery slots from Amazon Fresh

Shops that come in under £40 will be charged a £3.99 delivery fee. Customers will be able to access between 12,000 and 15,000 products online – compared to 40,000 products on Ocado. 

Shoppers in 40 postcodes in Surrey and Berkshire can also book a one-hour slot for £3.99 or get same-day delivery. 

Amazon release their second quarter results on Thursday. Investors who have seen the share price rise by around 60 per cent this year will be hoping for more good news from the technology giant. The surge in Amazon shares saw founder Jeff Bezos add £10billion to his wealth in just one day last week. 

Food delivery has doubled in size to more than 3m orders per week since the start of the coronavirus pandemic as families avoid crowded spaces and learn to shop online. 

Traditional supermarkets have already seen their market share undercut by German discounters, which hold more than 13 per cent of the UK market, and sellers such as Ocado and Amazon post a threat online. 

Russell Jones, UK country manager for Amazon Fresh, said: ‘It’s a really obvious next step to take. Grocery delivery is one of the fastest growing businesses at Amazon and we think this will be one of the most-loved Prime benefits in the UK.’ 

Tom Brereton, an analyst at Global Data, said: ‘It’s a bold and ambitious move from Amazon.’

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