Morrisons boss David Potts has revealed the grocer will start selling ambient products through online giant Amazon “imminently”.
The supermarket giant revealed in February that it had penned a deal to supply hundreds of fresh, frozen and ambient products to the etailer, which will be sold via its Prime Now and Pantry propositions.
Morrisons initially said that the “wholesale supply service” would start “in the coming months” and refused to put a firm timescale on the partnership swinging into action.
But speaking after unveiling Morrisons’ second consecutive quarterly rise in like-for-like sales, Potts said Amazon had already taken its first order of 800 ambient products, suggesting that a move to start selling the grocer’s goods through Pantry was “imminent”.
“We have delivered into Amazon,” Potts said. “Therefore I expect it to be imminent for Amazon to start to serve customers of Pantry.”
Potts said he did not know a precise date that the service would be launched, but added: “We have supplied over 800 items in, but the volumes clearly will revolve around customer demand and customers’ tendency to take up Pantry.
“That accountability falls directly to Amazon. Clearly, you wouldn’t expect Amazon to want to carry huge amounts of stock in hand.
“We won’t know the demand until customers start to buy things.
“But we are a supplier of goods to Amazon and they are the seller to consumers. I’m assuming they wouldn’t have ordered stock if they hadn’t expected to be selling it quite soon.”
Amazon is yet to respond to Retail Week’s request for comment.
Potts added that Morrisons had opened two more of its ‘Daily’ convenience formats on petrol station forecourts through its partnership with Motor Fuel Group (MFG).
The grocer had already opened pilot stores in Crewe, Foots Cray and Romford, but it has now launched another pair of shops in Coventry and Nuneaton.
Potts said sales had increased in all five forecourt shops since Morrisons converted them and added that the test would be reviewed “within the next month” as it takes tentative steps back into the convenience sector.
Last year, Morrisons sold its 140-store M Local convenience business to a team led by entrepreneur Mike Greene and backed by investment group Greybull Capital. The stores were rebranded My Local and opened at the end of October.
Morrisons initially entered the convenience sector three years ago. But it employed what analysts described as a “scattergun” approach to opening stores, acquiring parcels of shops from HMV, Jessops and Blockbuster after the three retailers went bust in a bid to catch up with rivals Tesco and Sainsbury’s.