British shoppers struggling to get a grocery delivery slot for their online shop may soon have a new option as Amazon expands the coverage of its Amazon Fresh service.

Amazon currently has only a small share of this market, with Fresh available in just 300 postcodes in the London area, but that is set to change.

According to The Grocer, Amazon’s depots in Wembley, Surrey and Hatfield have been upgraded to handle fresh produce; others in line for a similar upgrade are those in Leeds, Birmingham, Sheffield, Portsmouth, Glasgow, Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester.

Alongside the greater geographical coverage, which is expected to be rolled out across the remainder of the year, Amazon is also making the service free to existing Amazon Prime members (previously there was a monthly add-on fee) and offering delivery slots within one to three hours.

“We consider grocery delivery to be the perfect addition to Prime,” said Russell Jones, Amazon Fresh UK country manager. “It was always about making fast delivery an everyday experience rather than an occasional indulgence. We do think over time Fresh will become one of the most loved Prime benefits in the UK,” he told The Grocer.

With around 15 million Prime members in the UK, the new service poses a threat to the likes of Sainsbury’s, Waitrose and Ocado, according to GlobalData retail analyst Thomas Brereton, who added that the brand would be willing “to lose money to gain foothold in a market and go from there.”

Retail expert Richard Hyman concurred, telling The Guardian, “A new kid in town with the immediate muscle of the others, and no need to make money, and the best data-driven logistics in retail has been the incumbents’ nightmare for some time, and it’s about to come true.”

Sourced from The Guardian, The Grocer