Sainsbury’s challenge Amazon with same day food delivery

Just nine weeks after Amazon Fresh launched in London, Sainsbury’s have announced that they will also be delivering fresh food the same day to selected London postcodes as well as expanding delivery capability from a new fulfilment centre.

London expansion

Sainsbury’s will create 900 jobs at its new online fulfilment centre in Bromley-by-Bow, East London. The 185,000 sqft centre, which is due to open this autumn, forms part of the retailer’s strategy to enable its customers to shop whenever and wherever they want, and will cater for the growing demand in the capital for Sainsbury’s online groceries service.

Online orders are currently picked from Sainsbury’s stores across the UK and this model will continue, but the Bromley-by-Bow Centre, a ‘dark store’ where customers never visit, will help us keep pace with demand in London, enabling the supermarket to fulfil another 25,000 orders per week.

The fulfilment centre is being created at the former Royal Mail building, which is being completely redeveloped and fitted with the latest automation and picking technology.

Same Day Delivery

To serve customers whenever and wherever they want to shop, Sainsbury’s is also trialling same day online grocery deliveries at three stores in London and the SouthEast.

The three stores taking part in the trial are Sainsbury’s Streatham Common, Richmond and Brookwood in Surrey. Customers who order by 12pm will be able to receive their shopping in four to six hours, dependent upon whether they choose to ‘Click & Collect’, or book a home delivery. Assuming the trials are successful, same-day online grocery delivery will be available in 30 stores by Christmas.

Will Sainsbury’s lead and others follow?

Sainsbury’s have already made the strategic investment in Argos who have same day delivery capability for 20,000 or more, mainly home and garden, products. Now they’re investing in same day food delivery services. It would seem unlikely that the same vehicles will be used for both services – there are different requirements for delivery chilled and frozen food products compared with a set of new garden chairs.

Where Amazon lead, others will surely follow and if Sainsbury’s are first then they should get a head start on their competitors. Plus although different vans will be used, they’ll surely be learning lessons from Argos’ superb logistics capabilities.

Morrisons we can assume are out of the picture having thrown their lot in with Amazon, so who is next – Tesco or Asda would seem the most likely contender to introduce same day food deliveries. The disadvantage they’ll have is that with Argos you’ll be able to order food online for your barbecue as well as the barbecue itself and a set of patio chairs all to de delivered from Sainsbury’s/Argos later today. No mean feat for a business established in the mid 1800s that’s had to adapt to the internet instead of being built for online first.