Amazon continues to expand what and how it will deliver to consumers – including opening a restaurant division. In the past week, Amazon has announced the expansion of its one-hour delivery service in Seattle; it has announced a new fulfillment center in the UK; and it has apparently begun hiring for a new restaurant division in addition to testing a Farmers Market program.
There’s only speculation as to what the new restaurant division will offer to Amazon customers – Reuters said the company would not respond to its inquiries.
“The online retailer has dabbled in food delivery before but its move to form a dedicated division called Amazon Restaurants could mean it is preparing to enter the increasingly crowded meal delivery market and compete against well-established players like GrubHub Inc.
“The exact purpose of the division is unclear but the job description of at least one employee in the unit suggests Amazon is interested in expanding restaurant delivery services beyond Seattle, where recent media reports say the company is already testing its own meal delivery program.”
In late August, the LA Times said Amazon was rolling out a new Farmers Market Direct program in partnership with Fresh Nation.
Also at the end of August, Amazon announced it had opened two urban Prime Now hubs in King County bringing one-hour delivery to Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland. “Residents of Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland can now get one-hour delivery on tens of thousands of items like paper towels, wine, beer, chilled and frozen items like milk and ice cream, televisions and Kindle devices,” it wrote.
At the end of August, Amazon announced it would open its tenth fulfilment center in the UK later this year. “The new 250,000 sq ft fulfilment centre will begin fulfilling customer orders in autumn 2015 and will create in excess of 300 new permanent jobs in the next three years.”
In that announcement, it also noted it had launched Prime Now for Prime members in London and Birmingham.
Clearly Amazon is interested in being the way consumers receive all of the deliveries to their homes, whether it’s groceries, meals, or products.