We reported last week that AmazonFresh had been discontinuing deliveries to some neighborhoods in the United States.
Other news publications ran similar stories, even indicating that the scope of the suspension of service is more extensive than we reported.
To date, Amazon has not taken an official stand on this news, so the speculation has continued if suspending AmazonFresh in some neighborhoods is a sign of more change to come.
Afterall, Amazon went with both feet into the deep end of the with the acquisition of Whole Foods Market. Utilizing Whole Foods Market for deliveries seems like a much better long term plan, but Amazon has a ten year history with branding AmazonFresh.
AmazonFresh Arrives in Munich, Germany
The launch includes about 300,000 food products, including items from popular local stores and brands.
Customers in Munich can now order fresh products such as vegetables, fruits, meats, dairy products and non-perishables.
The new service encompasses many popular food staples and local favorites, that most AmazonFresh customers can probably do their weekly food shopping all with the new service.
Most deliveries are made next day if ordered by 11pm and will arrive in a 2 hour window that can be as early as 5am but no later than 10pm.
For more details, you can go to the Amazon.de AmazonFresh link here.
International Expansion, But Contraction in U.S.?
Whole Foods Market is mostly a North American grocery chain with a few stores in the U.K.
The company did not have major international expansion even prior to the Amazon purchase. So it is unlikely Amazon has any meaningful brand equity from the Whole Foods Market name outside North America.
Therefore, it is entirely possible that Amazon may switch AmazonFresh to the Whole Foods Market branding in North America, but keep the AmazonFresh brand for international grocery delivery.
In such a scenario, only the U.K. would require a “decision.” Since Whole Foods Market has only a few stores in the U.K., would Amazon just continue to use the stores as walk-in stores, but run all deliveries through AmazonFresh?
The suggested U.K. model could also work for the U.S. and Canada, but then why start suspending service in select U.S. neighborhoods now?
Amazon is all about gaining market share, and even if those communities were not profitable now, the cost of keeping them open is minuscule in the bigger picture.
Unfortunately, until Amazon takes a public stance on AmazonFresh’s future in the U.S., there is only speculation.
What do you think Amazon may be up to here? Drop us a line in the comments section below.