In recent years, Amazon has attracted wide attention with its effort to become a force in the grocery industry, from its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods to its flashy rollout of tech-enabled stores like Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go. But the internet retailer has also quietly been laying the groundwork to become a major player in a less visible and potentially more lucrative area: the grocery-delivery market, which in the U.S. has largely been the domain of Instacart.
Over the last year, Amazon has launched a new business in the U.K.—referred to internally as Amazon Fresh Marketplace—that bears a striking resemblance to Instacart. Prime subscribers can use the Amazon app or website to order groceries from two major U.K. supermarkets, with same-day delivery fulfilled by Amazon Flex drivers.
The Information has learned that Amazon plans to expand the online grocery-ordering and -delivery program throughout Europe and in the U.S. in 2022. That will put it in direct competition with Instacart as well as other companies expanding in app-based grocery deliveries, such as DoorDash and Uber.