PARIS (Reuters) - Online retailer Amazon said on Wednesday it was partnering with luxury food group Fauchon, organic food chain Bio c'Bon and wine retailer Lavinia to extend the product range of its Prime Now express delivery service in Paris and its suburbs.
The deal, which will add 5,000 food products to Amazon Prime Now's range of 18,000 products in Paris, comes as French retailer Carrefour started testing its own express delivery service named Livraison Express this month in several Paris stores as it seeks to counter Amazon Prime Now.
Seattle-based Amazon has been stepping up its activity in France in recent years and speed delivery has become a new battleground among retailers seeking to boost sales.
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Amazon Prime Now was launched in Paris in June 2016. Its members pay a yearly subscription of 49 euros to get products delivered within one-hour for 5.90 euros or for free within two hours if they order a minimum of 20 euros worth of products.
The deals with Bio c'Bon and Lavinia are effective immediately, while Fauchon will join Prime Now in November, Amazon said in a statement.
Thanks to these partnerships, customers will be able to buy a wider selection of products, including fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, wine, spirits and fresh deli products.
Frederic Duval, General Manager of Amazon.fr, told Reuters by phone that the four-month old Amazon Prime Now service had already met "very strong demand" in Paris and was fully on track with the volumes targeted. It was however too early to say if Amazon would replicate the service to other big French cities.
On Oct. 19 Carrefour - France's largest retailer - started a trial delivery of groceries and fresh food within one hour for 4.90 euros in half of the Paris arrondissements. The goal is to extend the trial to all of Paris in coming weeks. Orders are prepared in Carrefour Paris stores and delivered by bike.
Prime Now was first launched in New York City in December 2014. Since then it has expanded to several other major U.S cities, as well as European cities such as London, Berlin, Milan, and Madrid.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Geert De Clercq)