Amazon: the ‘ultimate box shifter’?

Box shifting en masse: Amazon enters the UK commercial catering sphere.

With one dealer labelling Amazon the ‘ultimate box shifter’, what does the announcement that the web giant has added a commercial catering equipment category to its UK site signify for this industry?

According to Graham Sowerby, marketing director at online dealer, Catering Appliance Superstore: “Amazon opening up a foodservice category will mean that finally the domestic and commercial markets can be defined separately.

“Previous to this, commercial equipment was typically listed in the ‘Home & Kitchen’ categories, which is heavily weighted at the domestic market.”

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Prior to this, Amazon introduced the same category on its US site, as part of the whole business category. Comprising 18 categories, this group of products collectively generated sales of $1bn in its first 12 months.

Sowerby commented: “Amazon is a necessary evil, and if we do not make use of its market I’m sure our competitors will.

“I think that once this category is activated in the UK and Amazon runs some marketing campaigns, there will be a sizeable up-turn in customers using Amazon to shop for commercial catering equipment.

“Personally, I wish Amazon did not exist because it is just another ‘middle man’ that wants a slice of the pie.

“The problem is that Amazon is now such a large and trusted marketplace that retailers have no choice but to use it to sell products if they wish to maximise the exposure of their brand and product range.

“Amazon is growing, and there is very little that is going to stand in its way.”

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