AmazonFresh has launched in Germany in a move it hopes will shake up the country’s traditional supermarket sector.
The AmazonFresh grocery delivery service, which includes more than 85,000 products, will initially be available to Amazon Prime customers in parts of Berlin and neighbouring city Potsdam. If successful, there are plans to plans to roll out the service nationwide.
The extensive product range spans fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy, as well as around 6,000 organic products and various gluten-free, lactose-free and vegan options.
Also available are hundreds of selected items from Berlin delicatessens and local food merchants.
Expanding the service
"The bar in food retail is very high,” said AmazonFresh vice-president Ajay Kavan. “We are starting out with an extensive range in a limited delivery area and we will take the time to improve the service continuously based on our experience and feedback from customers."
He added: "We are working methodically and very specifically on how to extend this offer to include other postcodes.”
Amazon promises that if an order is placed by midday Monday to Friday, deliveries will be made in time for dinner the same day. If customers order before 11pm, their groceries will arrive the following day in a selected two-hour delivery window.
Shoppers can also choose to have their groceries left in a secure place between 5am and 10pm without having to collect them in person.
Online grocery slow to take off
Despite a boom in e-commerce on other products, online grocery deliveries have been slow to take off in Germany. This could be explained by the high density of food stores and the fact that discounters Aldi and Lidl have been slow to launch an online service, Reuters reported.
However, anticipating the launch of AmazonFresh in Germany, the country’s second-largest supermarket chain Rewe has been "investing heavily" in e-commerce, according to the news wire.
Amazon’s logistical partner in Berlin and Potsdam will be Deutsche Post DHL, which already delivers packages for Amazon in Germany.
Deutsche Post has been profiting from a boom in online deliveries from websites such as Amazon and Zalando. But as Amazon develops its in-house logistics capacity in other countries, concerns have emerged that a similar move in Germany could threaten the German logistics group. Reuters reported that the AmazonFresh logistics contract could help ease these worries.
A first for fresh
Amazon began its grocery delivery service in Seattle in 2007 and has since expanded to other US cities. Last year AmazonFresh was also launched in London.
In Germany it will not be the first time Amazon has sold food products online, but up until now the service did not include fresh food. In 2010 the online retailer launched its ‘Lebensmittel-Onlineshop’, which now lists almost 680,000 products, however the items sold and sent by Amazon themselves only included non-perishable food.
In October 2015 the retailer also rolled out Amazon Pantry in Germany – “a store where Prime members can shop for [non-perishable] groceries and household products in everyday package sizes,” according to its website.