Retail giant Amazon has been steadily expanding its Prime Now restaurant delivery service in the United States, launching the program in cities such as Seattle, Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Austin. Now, according to Reuters, the company is looking to make a move across the pond. Amazon has been conducting surveys in the United Kingdom to determine if its restaurant delivery fits in the market.
A financial analyst told Reuters expansion to the U.K. would be a "logical step" for Amazon. The company apparently employed the same survey strategy before debuting its delivery venture stateside: "These stealth tactics have been used carefully in the United States to do similar and launch successfully, and the U.K. is often used as the first international market," Neil Campling, a senior analyst at Aviate Global, told Reuters.
In January, International Business Times reported Amazon's plans to create 2,500 new jobs in the U.K., so delivery expansion certainly makes sense. Amazon vice president of EU retail told IBT, "We are seeing stronger demand than ever from our customers all across Europe, and we see lots more opportunity across Amazon's businesses to invent and invest for the future." Despite the Reuters report, Amazon has not confirmed its UK expansion plans.
Last November, the company revealed intentions to take its restaurant delivery service to 20 U.S. cities that are served by Amazon Prime Now. The service is free for the time being, but Amazon is expected to introduce delivery fees at some point. Users must be signed up for a Prime Now account, which costs $99 annually, to use the service. A spokesperson told Eater at the time, "We are constantly looking at ways to add value to Prime, and restaurant delivery is another great service for Prime customers."
With Prime Now restaurant delivery, Amazon is directly competing against other American brands such as Yelp's Eat24, GrubHub, Postmates, Caviar, and UberEats. Of Amazon's major American competitors, only UberEats has European expansion plans — it launched in Barcelona last week.
Update: An Amazon spokesperson tells Eater, "We never comment on rumor and speculation."