6 UK cities primed for Amazon’s drive-thru grocery store

As Amazon’s drive-thru grocery store opens in Seattle, how long before one pulls into in London, St Albans or Taunton?

Amazon’s much anticipated Seattle drive-thru grocery store has applied for final licences ready for opening in the USA. According to e-commerce delivery experts ParcelHero, Brits could also soon be parking up for groceries in London and locations around the UK.

Amazon’s revolutionary drive-thru grocery store is preparing for opening in Amazon’s home town of Seattle, USA, having just applied for its alcohol licence. Plans for the 9,700 square-foot building describe it as “a new model of grocery shopping.” Shoppers place their orders online, then drive in for their 15-minute to two-hour window, and have their groceries delivered straight to their cars.

ParcelHero says it expects to see Amazon drive-ins arrive in the UK as early as this year. “Whether you are American or British, everyone hates waiting around for grocery deliveries. Now you can cruise up and have your car loaded with your week’s order at the time you choose. And you don’t even need to get out of your car!” ParcelHero’s head of consumer research, David Jinks MILT, says.

The good news is that many of the pilot projects Amazon trials first in Seattle come to the UK next for scaled-up testing. The UK was the first place outside the USA for testing when Amazon started its own logistics organisation; when it pioneered one hour Prime Now deliveries; when it started Amazon Pantry and Amazon 1-hour groceries; and it will likely happen with the Amazon drive-thru as well, according to Jinks.

There is already speculation about where the first will appear in the UK, says Jinks. The six most likely locations are London, Birmingham, Manchester, Glasgow, St Albans, and Taunton.

“Amazon Fresh first opened in east and central London and these seem prime locations to launch its next big grocery bombshell. We could see drive-thru grocery stores anywhere from Oxford Street to Stepney Green in the Capital,” Jinks explains.

“Amazon Prime Now one hour food deliveries kicked off in Birminghamin September 2015 and this could well point to another location. Amazon’s Prime Now-Morrisons’ tie-up launched in London and Hertfordshire so we expect to see a Hertford location also pop up. A major town such as St Albans could be a sensible location.”

Further north, Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool are all areas where Amazon has trialled schemes such as the launch of Prime Now, and with the opening of its new third Doncaster Fulfilment Centre, nearby Manchester seems the most likely option.

One area where there is a strong need for a drive-in service is the west of England; which is less well served by national grocery chain physical stores. While Swansea is the nearest Amazon fulfilment centre, Morrisons’ huge and distinctive distribution centre at Bridgwater in Somerset – the largest supermarket DC in the west, could well supply a drive-thru location further west to a likely location like Taunton.

“And our final prediction is Glasgow. Morrisons has a huge DC just outside Glasgow in Bellshill, and 85,000 square feet of this huge facility is dedicated to fresh produce. Additionally, Amazon’s own large Dunfermline depot is just 40 miles away; making it the most likely choice,” Jinks adds.

“Amazon is great at ‘driving’ change in retail; and the drive-thru grocery store is likely to be a winner here in the UK. Sat snuggly in your car while someone puts your pre-ordered shopping in the boot, it’s the ultimate convenience store. We’ll race you for the courgettes.”

ParcelHero goes into detail on Amazon’s revolutionary new retail and distribution plans in a new report.

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda Nair

Praseeda was Editor for GrowthBusiness.co.uk from 2016 to 2018.

Related Topics