Amazon takes on supermarkets with free food delivery

By Emma Simpson
Business correspondent, BBC News

Publishedduration27 July 2020shareSharenocloseShare pagelinkCopy linkAbout sharingimage copyrightAmazon

Amazon is ramping up its online grocery service with the aim of serving millions of shoppers across the UK by the end of 2020.

Online food sales have almost doubled during the pandemic with grocers struggling to keep up with demand.

Amazon is now after a bigger slice of this fast-growing market, which analysts say could increase pressure on rivals such as Ocado.

"It's extremely significant" says retail analyst, Richard Hyman.

"[Amazon] can be compelling, disruptive and it's a business with gigantic ambitions."

Amazon Fresh offers same or next-day grocery deliveries for customers in London and parts of the Home Counties.

Shoppers have to subscribe to Amazon Prime to get it and users currently have to pay an additional monthly fee or a delivery charge per order. It has about 10,000 products including fresh, chilled and frozen food.

From Tuesday, this service will now be a free benefit to subscribers in these areas on orders above £40.

About 40 postcodes in Surrey will also have access to a faster offer, with a possible same-day delivery before midnight if you order by 21:00.

Amazon says it will roll out this quicker and unlimited free delivery grocery service to "multiple cities" by the end of this year. It's an ambitious move.

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