Amazon Fresh a precursor to ‘more significant’ blow for retailers

By Laurence Gibbons contact

- Last updated on GMT

With just the touch of a button Amazon Dash will order a replenishment of groceries
With just the touch of a button Amazon Dash will order a replenishment of groceries

Related tags: Amazon fresh, Refrigerator, Amazon

Amazon Fresh will pave the way for its Dash service, which automatically orders used items in household fridges and freezers, delivering a further blow to British supermarkets.

That was the stark warning from e-commerce firm ParcelHero, which claimed Fresh would simply be a prelude to the “more significant”​ ‘internet of things’ service Dash.

Amazon launched its one-hour groceries online business Amazon Fresh in Birmingham last month, with its London launch planned for later this month.

Dash will eventually enable consumers’ fridges to automatically order milk or pizza when they run out and allow coffee machines to signal when they need more Expresso or Caremelito, according to ParcelHero.

ParcelHero head of public relations David Jinks said: “As ParcelHero revealed to Forbes last week and The Times predicted back in July, the arrival of Amazon Fresh is the precursor to Amazon Dash in the UK, and such technology is expected to develop rapidly.”

‘Order without fuss’

“At the moment users literally tap a button attached to their fridge or other appliances to order without fuss, but the technology is already available to enable freezers, etc, to keep track of various products and send a replenish order automatically.”

A recent retail industry study by research firm Forrester claimed consumers were only two years away from reaching the reality of the fully ‘connected home’.

“Already the internet has moved beyond our PCs and mobile devices to connect with our cars, TVs etc. The kitchen and the bathroom are the next frontiers,”​ Jinks claimed. “The UK’s already hard-pressed supermarkets and grocers had better be prepared for the next generation of online shopping.”

A number of US cities, where Amazon Fresh is available, have also introduced Dash, Jinks claimed.

‘Warehousing and logistics’

“The warehousing and logistics needed for launching Fresh will also underpin the Dash service. In a number of US cities where Amazon Fresh is available, Dash has already been introduced,”​ he said.

“Over 500 products are now available in the US for instant order through Dash, including Tide, Kraft Foods and Hershey’s.

“Amazon Fresh was quietly introduced in Birmingham … offering around 50 key items initially. Chilled grocery products available include a very British range unlikely to appear in the US Fresh service, ​[such as] Pukka Pies.”

Areas of London will follow very shortly, with a wider UK launch in place for spring 2016, he added.

Related topics: Supply Chain, Chilled foods, Frozen

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