Amazon has fuelled speculation that it could bring its online grocery service to the UK after it took over the lease of a warehouse. The warehouse in Weybridge, Surrey, was previously operated by Tesco and is situated inside the M25 making it ideal to deliver to London shoppers. Amazon currently operates its grocery service, Amazon Fresh, in New York, California and Seattle and is close to starting its operations in the UK. The online retailer has presented its plans to UK manufacturers and could start as early as next month.
The move could put more pressure on British supermarkets which are already being forced to rethink their strategy and cut prices following competition from the likes of Aldi and Lidl. Amazon Fresh would add fresh fruit and vegetables, meat and bread to Amazon’s already comprehensive list of household essentials that include toothpaste and washing-up liquid. Amazon Fresh would pit itself directly against Ocado. In California it is used to buy produce from local shops and restaurants, Amazon Dash also allows customers to order essentials using a small WiFi connected button. The warehouse in Weybridge is to employ 20 people with 140 independent drivers expected to be stationed at the site. Amazon declined to confirm the move would see Amazon Fresh arrive in the UK.