Amazon rolled out its grocery delivery service Amazon Fresh in Berlin and the neighboring city of Potsdam in early May. With a few clicks, locals could now put potatoes, steaks, and soft drinks in their “cart,” select a preferred time frame for delivery, and take possession of their purchases from an express-delivery driver a couple of hours later. Ten weeks after launch, the service was offering 100,000 products, from traditional brands like Coca-Cola to well-known organic ones.
Amazon’s Germany boss Ralf Kleber says Amazon Fresh is still in its infancy. But he’s already planning to make Amazon Fresh available in other German regions, too. It will go live in Munich in the coming weeks, and could expand to the sprawling Ruhr conurbation in western Germany before too long. The “customers’ positive feedback” is charting the course of Amazon Fresh, he says – even if he remains coy about backing that claim with any sales figures.
As a result, it’s hard to tell how successful Amazon’s new German venture actually is. Some suppliers suggest volumes are manageable. One manufacturer said his company used big trucks to deliver goods to the central storage facilities of German retail leaders Edeka and Rewe. “But we’re able to supply Amazon with a small transporter.” What’s more, the relatively high cost of shipping small order volumes is probably digging into the online giant’s bottom line. “I reckon the hype is a bit exaggerated – but of course we want to be a part of it,” he admits. As Mr. Kleber says, it’s only the start.