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BizReport : Ecommerce archives : July 09, 2010

Amazon launches grocery website in U.K.

Amazon is slowly expanding its grocery delivery service with the launch of its U.K. store coming just days after a launch in Germany.

by Helen Leggatt

Britain's online supermarket market is fierce. In the past five years alone it has grown 34% to $4.5 billion, according to researchers Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.

Now, online retailing giant Amazon is getting in on the grocery game with the launch of a delivery service in the U.K. The move comes just a couple of days after Amazon opened its first European grocery offering in Germany.

"This is big news in the online market. When the world's largest online retailer makes a play it is bound to shake a few things up," said Natalie Berg, research analyst at Planet Retail, via Bloomberg Businessweek.

"We have seen supermarkets move into selling DVDs and books. This is the first time it has happened the other way around."

Amazon will be stocking around 22,000 products, 2,000 of which will be stored in warehouses around the U.K., with its largest facility, of 800,000 square feet, at Swansea Bay in Wales. Fresh and chilled items will be sent via outside suppliers but Amazon will send groceries by mail, the same way it dispatches other products.

The Amazon grocery site is up and running in the U.K., but is still in beta.

Tags: Amazon, Europe, groceries, online shopping, supermarkets

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