High Street retailers get tough on Amazon

Argos tackles Amazon Prime with its own cheaper same-day delivery service
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It’s no question how popular Amazon is with consumers, but now big retailers associated with the High Street are starting to get more competitive with the etail giant.

Argos is taking on Amazon, launching its own Fast Track Delivery service, which lets users order up to 20,000 products by 6pm and have them delivered before 10pm on the same day.

It’s very similar to Amazon’s Prime service, where customers can pick up parcels from their local High Street within 12 hours of ordering.

Amazon also bought a one-hour delivery service to the UK this year, known as Prime Now, which covers order purchases of over £20.

However, the difference is Argos is offering customers the same-day service for a mere £3.95 charge per shipment, which also covers the whole of the UK. Amazon offers its service for Prime Now for £6.99, while evening drop-offs will cost £9.99.

This development certainly proves that Amazon isn’t the only retailer that can offer a quick delivery service, and we may even start to see more and more retailers along the High Street roll out this kind of service to get more competitive.

Meanwhile, book retailer Waterstones is also clamping down on Amazon, having removed the etailer’s Kindle device from its shelves in store due to ‘pitiful sales’.

Waterstones teamed up with Amazon back in 2012 to sell the reader, but will replace the electronic device with physical books instead.

James Daunt, MD of Waterstones, said: “Sales of Kindles continue to be pitiful so we are taking the display space back in more and more shops,” reports The Bookseller.

“It feels very much like the life of one of those inexplicable bestsellers; one day piles and piles, selling like fury; the next you count your blessings with every sale because it brings you closer to getting it off your shelves forever to make way for something new.

“Sometimes, of course, they ‘bounce’ but no sign yet of this being the case with Kindles.”

In addition, superstore Tesco has pledged to deliver a simpler business model for suppliers, standardising its payment terms.

Amazon has famously been known for its bullish stance towards suppliers, and this move by the supermarket will no doubt be another jab to the etailer.

Tesco will offer specific concessions to help small and medium-sized businesses. Smaller suppliers, who deliver up to £100,000 worth of products in a year, will be paid within 14 days, whilst medium-sized suppliers who deliver up to £10 million in product value per year, will have their accounts settled five days quicker than larger suppliers in their category.

Dave Lewis, CEO of Tesco, added: “By introducing a new standardised policy across each category for our larger suppliers, and shorter payment terms for our small and medium suppliers, it will help us to deliver a fairer, more transparent and consistent approach across our supply-base.”

Although Tesco has announced these new plans, the retailer has witnessed a tumble in profits.

Profits more than halved over the first half of Tesco's latest financial year, falling from £779 million to £354 million, while like-for-like sales were also down by 1.1 per cent.

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