BUSINESS

Amazon Online Grocery Store Launches In Canada

10/31/2013 11:49 EDT | Updated 10/31/2013 11:50 EDT
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SAN BERNARDINO, OCTOBER 29: Employee Lamar Roby prepares shipping orders at Amazon's San Bernardino Fulfillment Center October 29, 2013 in San Bernardino, California. Amazon's 1 million square-foot facility in the hard hit San Bernardino County has created more than 800 jobs at the center. Fulfillment centers are where products sold by other vendors on Amazon.com store their inventory. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

Watch out Canadian grocers, Amazon is stalking your turf.

The U.S.-based retail giant on Thursday announced the launch of an online grocery store for Canadian shoppers, promising “more than 15,000 dry grocery products from top brands.”

The retailer is also launching an auto store with 200,000 car-related items, from tire and wheel accessories to upholstery cleaners.

The news is already making some retail market analysts nervous about the future of Canadian sellers.

It’s going to be ugly, particularly in the desperately over-stored Ontario market,” Luke Sklar of retail consultancy Sklar Wilton & Associates told the Globe and Mail.

And Amazon isn't the only one muscling into groceries.

A recent report from Retail Leader notes that the Canadian grocery landscape is about to get considerably more crowded, with Walmart planning to open 37 new super-centres in Canada, while upscale food retailer Whole Foods could open another 35 to 40 locations in Canada.

But on the online side, Canadian retailers may not be ready. A report from Forrester Research earlier this year said Canadian retailers are falling behind on e-commerce and facing their “last wake-up call” to develop an online presence.

According to the report, part of what may be holding the industry behind is consumer dissatisfaction with the options.

The study said consumers complained of high shipping costs, a worse assortment of products than seen in the U.S., and uncompetitive prices.

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