Amazon is soon to launch its Amazon Fresh grocery home-delivery service in Germany, according to press reports. Amazon Germany has reportedly already established distribution centres and a fleet of delivery trucks in the country.

This will be Amazon’s first Fresh grocery operation outside of the US, where it is offered in Seattle, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

We think Germany is an excellent market for Amazon to launch a grocery delivery service.

Here’s why:

Consumer research for our Supermarkets – Europe, November 2013 report found 7% of Germans had shopped for groceries online in 2013 – only slightly behind the 9% recorded in France, which has a much more established online grocery sector.

Mintel’s research found German grocery shoppers were unique among the major European countries in that more shopped at online-only retailers for groceries than shopped from the websites of store-based supermarkets.

This reflects German shoppers’ generally high rates of shopping at pureplay retailers – a trend we also see in shopping for categories such as clothes and electrical goods. Our consumer research consistently finds Amazon is particularly popular in Germany, the company’s largest European market.

Meanwhile, Germans are poorly served by their major supermarkets online. Around half of the country’s total grocer sector sales go through no-frills discounters whose model does not offer a fit with online retail.

But few of the non-discount retailers offer a full online service either. Among the major grocers only Real, Rewe, Kaiser’s Tengelmann (via its Bringmeister online fascia) and Bünting (via its MyTime site) offer groceries online.

But these retailers’ coverage is sometimes limited to major cities or, in the case of collection, to specific stores.

Online grocery retailing remains in its infancy in Germany – but it needs a retailer to take it seriously and drive growth. Amazon is in a strong position to do this.

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