Supply chain · 9 June 2016

AmazonFresh gives new lease of life to London’s independent food retailers

AmazonFresh
Brownies are among the food products consumers will be able to get from independent producers

The launch of a new AmazonFresh food delivery service is good news for small producers in the capital, with small brands among the 130,000 products the ecommerce giant is to start delivering.

 Though basic own-brand items will be provided by grocery giant Morrisons, products from small brands including butchers C.Lidgate, bakers and Dragons’ Den success story Bad Brownie and artisan cheesemakers Paxton and Whitfield will be available for same-day delivery if ordered by 8am.

“Working with Amazon means our brownies can get to hungry chocoholics in a matter of hours, signalling the end of overbaked, homemade, cakey brownies at dinner parties,” said Bad Brownie co-founder Paz Sarmah.

Amazon Prime members living parts of the east and centre of the city will be able to get unlimited free delivery of grocery orders over £40 by paying an extra £6.99 a month.

The new service, which will be fulfilled by Amazon Logistics from a warehouse in Bow, in the east of the city, could also provide a boon to small delivery company owners in London, as such firms make up a large chunk of the 90 independent firms used to fulfil orders.

“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,” said the company’s vice president Ajay Kavan.

“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,” he added. “We will be very methodical and considered in how we roll this service out further in the UK.

The new service will be competing with established player Hubbub – which also capitalises on local delivery providers – for delivery contracts with independent food shops.

Independent chain Planet Organic announced a tie-up with Hubbub in May 2016, when founder Renée Elliott claimed a “first-mover advantage” over Amazon’s service, and called Hubbub “a like-minded brand that shares our quality and ethical principles. A natural partnership, it will transform the experience for our customers.”

The partnership was followed by an announcement by another delivery provider, Deliveroo, about a trial tie-up with Ben & Jerry’s to deliver free ice cream to  homes and offices in Dublin and London in June.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Hannah Wilkinson is a reporter for Business Advice. She studied economics and management at Oxford University and prior to joining Business Advice wrote for Kensington and Chelsea Today about business and economics – as well as running a tutoring company.

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