So the worst kept secret in British grocery retail is here. The launch of Amazon Fresh adds yet another competitor to the UK market, intensifying the price war further.
With the link up of Morrison's own label, this promises to be an interesting opening 12 months in the market for the retailer.
Amazon's launch in the US is a much publicised failure thus far - or is it? Let us not forget that Ocado didn't turn a profit for nearly 15 years and Amazon's coverage in the highly populated areas of Seattle, New York, San Diego, Phili & San Fran equate to the entire UK population....
Kantar's latest figures state that in the UK, Online is still just 6% of the UK grocery market. However IGD have followed this with their research showing a record 29% of shoppers bought online groceries last month and 42% would convert from bricks and mortar, with the channel growing at 12% -13% YOY.
If Amazon can maintain their impeccable customer service and deliver in the promised hour time slots in urban areas where traditionally professionals are time poor, then this could be a seminal moment in the history of UK grocery retailing.
The top 4 are struggling to keep up with the rapidly changing demands of the consumer and this promises to heap on more misery, as profits tumble and the discounters continue to steal market share.
The critics have the knives out as there are monthly fees and a requirement to sign up to Amazon Prime in order to join in, but the pros for doing so far outweigh the cons in my opinion.
We don't know what kind of timescale Amazon have to become a profitable grocery business - but what I do know is that Amazon's army are on the ground, they know how to fight hard and the bricks and mortar grocery boys and girls had better bolster their defences!
The e-commerce giant said Thursday its Amazon Fresh food delivery business will now be available to users of its Prime membership plan in central and east London, the first time the service has been offered outside the U.S. Customers will be able to order from a catalog of about 130,000 items, including those of major high street brands as well as independent local producers. Same-day delivery will be available, allowing shoppers to order at lunchtime for a delivery as soon as 5 p.m. the same evening.