Online shopping giant Amazon is gearing up to enter the UK grocery market by taking over the lease on a warehouse previously used by Tesco. Amazon Fresh is already operating in a number of cities in the US, but he declined to comment on any proposed timescale for the introduction of the service in the UK. The U.S online retailing giant is said to have already made a detailed presentations to various food industry players in U.K about its soon to be unveiled online grocery retailing plans. It will however, service to intensify a pricing war between Britain’s largest supermarkets and the German discounters Aldi and Lidl. Logicor refused to comment when asked if Amazon would be using the premises to distribute food.
Currently, the e-tailer sells household essentials from tea to toothpaste but, as its name suggests, Amazon Fresh will deliver fresh produce including fruit and veg.
Reports had linked Amazon with a London launch of its grocery service, with a view to a wider roll-out.
In addition, four independent, regional delivery companies are hiring approximately 140 drivers who will deliver parcels from the new station to Amazon customers across Weybridge and the surrounding area.
The distribution centre has been empty since it was closed in 2013 with the loss of hundreds of jobs. According to its website, Clegg Food specialises in “providing practical solutions for major food and drink operations”. All signs point to a new place where you can buy your spuds and Coco Pops from though.
The firm is also rumoured to have secured the rent on another two more warehouses in Leicestershire and Staffordshire.
The lease is thought to begin in September on the building based in Weybridge. It will replace a smaller site at nearby Castle Donington, which will close in the autumn.
Analysts have long expected a UK launch of the group fresh food service since it was first trialled in the US eight years ago.
The Weybridge station, which opens this week, is Amazon Logistics’ 15th delivery station in the UK. Amazon is opening a ninth fulfilment centre in Dunstable, Bedfordshire, which could also be used for Amazon Fresh.
It has been reported that Amazon Fresh would target 2% of the UK’s £149 billion grocery market, which is three times the market share of the country’s biggest online only grocer, Ocado.
This article was written by Graham Ruddick from The Guardian and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.
But numerous media outlets are reporting the service will start imminently, including Business Insider which lists the Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos as an investor.