It’s reported that the Amazon Prime Now service (whereby you can get your hands on a solid selection of daily household essentials with 120 minutes) will be expanding in Canada.
But what is perhaps more interesting, and the subject of media speculation, is the extent to which this Amazon Prime Now foray, and expansion thereof, may be one of the key reasons for buying up the US Whole Foods chain.
It is notable that the reported expansion is in areas where Whole Foods already has a presence. We’re talking about Vancouver and Toronto and apparently the scheme could be operational in those cities by as soon as November. Amazon isn’t known to hang about and it would make perfect sense to capitalise on the Whole Foods purchase as soon as possible.
In the UK Amazon Prime Now is already available in parts of (if not all of) Birmingham, Glasgow, Leeds, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle, Portsmouth and Sheffield
As the Amazon say of the proposition: “Prime Now offers 2-hour delivery on thousands of everyday essentials and household items plus the best of Amazon, delivered straight to your door.”
At the core of this potential expansion lies Amazon’s ambitions regarding both Prime and groceries.
Firstly, it’s well known that the expansion of the Prime offering is key to the Bezos dream. He wants not holding a Prime subscription be the ‘irresponsible choice’. Next is Amazon’s ambition to get a relatively tiny share of the grocery market in the UK, US and elsewhere. It’s been stated that in the UK they only seek 2% as a starting point. (Tesco in the UK holds roughly 27%, Sainsbury’s something 17%, as a rough reckoner.)
And then there is the maximisation of the Whole Foods acquisition: needless to say that is likely only the start of a journey to muscle in on existing bricks and mortar retailers.
From a UK perspective, what could be next? Pundits say Ocado. And that is not a bad shout.