GROCERIES will be following books and DVDs out of the doors of Amazon’s Peterborough distribution centre as the web-based company takes on online supermarket giants.
Amazon.co.uk launched its online grocery store on Wednesday, offering free delivery on 22,000 grocery lines from big brands including Kenco, Walkers, Pampers, Dolmio, Nestle and Pepsi.
The announcement follows the company’s move into musical instrument retailing last week. It looks to be a direct challenge to the grocery services provided by leading online retailer Okado.
Peterborough’s Amazon depot, in Kingston Park, off Fletton Parkway, is one of six in the country charged with sending grocery orders out.
The others are in Milton Keynes, Swansea, Doncaster and Glenrothes and Gourock, which are both in Scotland.
The change will not bring any extra jobs to the centre, as the new operations are being handled by some of the new staff recently recruited.
Amazon announced in May that it would be creating up to 1,400 temporary packaging jobs at the distribution centre from June in the run-up to the Christmas period.
The latest development is a signal of intent from the internet giant that it will not be relying on its background of entertainment retail for success.
James Leeson, director of grocery at Amazon, said: “Amazon.co.uk’s aim is to be the place where customers can find and discover any product they want to buy online.
“With the introduction of this new store, there are thousands of household, niche, ethnic and international grocery items, all available at the click of a button.”
As well as dried food products, Amazon are also offering fresh fruit, chilled items, vegetables and even meat through third-party sellers on Amazon Marketplace.
Pet food products from Bakers and Purina One are available, as are products including organic, kosher, gluten-free, sugar-free and vegan ranges.
The company is hoping to encourage customers to bulk buy items such as nappies, washing powders, pasta, rice, herbs, cooking oils and spices, offering discounts for not always available in supermarkets.
Mr Leeson added that the company looks set to continue to boost its grocery range in future.
Mr Leeson added: “We will work tirelessly to increase the selection of grocery items available to be delivered directly to customers’ doors.”