Morrisons products will become available through Amazon any day now, as it emerged this week the UK supermarket has already supplied the online giant with 800 ambient grocery lines.
Announcing a 0.7% increase in like-for-like sales in the first quarter, Morrisons CEO David Potts said he expected Amazon to start selling its products “imminently” as it would not be economical for Amazon to want to hold on to the stock supplied by Morrisons for too long a time.
Potts did not disclose details of the volumes Morrisons would ship to Amazon, saying only it would depend on consumer demand. He would also not be drawn on when Morrisons would begin supplying Amazon with fresh and frozen lines.
Morrisons revealed in February it was set to supply Amazon with a range of fresh, frozen and ambient products, which would be available to Amazon Prime Now and Amazon Pantry customers.
Amazon’s Fresh online grocery service - which will offer a wider range of goods than the more convenience-focused Prime and Pantry - is set to launch later this month, as revealed by The Grocer last week.
Suppliers are expecting listings with Amazon Fresh from mid-May with delivery trial runs having taken been taking place over the past month.
Amazon has been working on the launch of the hotly anticipated Amazon Fresh service for months, but plans slowed following media leaks about the launch last year.
Industry sources are saying activity has now ramped up again, with a number of suppliers being asked to participate in trial delivery runs to the Amazon depot in East London in the past month, and suggested the trial would be limited to London in the first phase.
“It seems Amazon wants to get off to a good start by running these test deliveries,” said one source, while another said that the online retail giant had recently staged a top-secret Amazon Fresh conference with key potential suppliers.
One supplier said he expected a “soft” launch of Amazon Fresh in May, with a full rollout to follow in June.
…and it’s reckoning time for Daily forecourts too
May is also set to be a pivotal month for the future of Morrisons’ fledging convenience trial with Motor Fuel Group.
CEO David Potts said Morrisons was due to meet Motor Fuel Group to review the results of the trial with the forecourt operator in the next month. Having sold its 130-strong M Local convenience chain last September, Morrisons and MFG opened the first pilot at the forecourt operator’s site in Crewe in December and there are now five Morrisons Daily stores trading.
Potts refused to confirm whether the parties were planning to continue the trials at this stage but said sales at the stores had increased since being converted to the Morrisons format.