London calling for AmazonFresh?
When www.freshfruitportal.com asked Amazon U.K. about potential plans to launch a fresh produce delivery service similar to those already operating in Seattle, California, New York, we were told 'we never comment on rumor or speculation.'
However a statement details the company's plans to take over a former Tesco warehouse operation in the Weybridge area of Surrey, just outside of London, employing around 20 people.
The rumor mill is rife in the British press as this new station is in a prime location close to the M25, the main highway linking London to surrounding areas and could be seen as a strategic move towards rolling out AmazonFresh in the capital.
The building was also formerly used by retailer Tesco as a warehouse and distribution facility, but closed in 2013.
Amazon is to work with four independent companies to deliver orders to customers across Weybridge and the surrounding area, although Amazon did not confirm this would include fresh produce.
In addition, regional delivery companies are hiring approximately 140 drivers who will deliver 'parcels' from this new delivery station to Amazon customers. In addition, another operation will open in the Midlands area.
"Amazon Logistics is also opening a new delivering and sortation station in Bardon, Leicestershire, serving the Midlands," says the statement.
"Launched in 2012, Amazon Logistics is a technology and logistics platform that empowers independent local, regional and national delivery companies across the UK to deliver Amazon parcels to customers every day of the week, including Sundays."
Last month, The Times reported how AmazonFresh is to pit itself against online supermarket delivery services such as Ocado in partnership with Waitrose as well as the online delivery arms of larger retailers like Tesco and Sainsbury's.
This week the debate reignited following an article in The Guardian claiming talks are in the advanced stages and the company is close to launching in the U.K.
However, there is no official line as of yet.