Amazon.com Inc will begin selling food and drinks online in Mexico, including snacks, sweets and wines, a move that could intensify its competition with Wal Mart de Mexico to claim shoppers in a nascent e-commerce market. Online shopping represents a fraction of total retail sales in Mexico but has grown swiftly, putting Amazon and its rivals in a race to ramp up investments in logistics, technology and product offerings. Amazon views food and drink sales as key to growth, eyeing routine purchases to stock pantries as a way to generate other types of sales, but has yet to dominate the category. The new items on its Mexico site, which it launched in 2015, span coffees, teas, liquors, wines and beers, as well as cooking ingredients, non-perishable snacks and sweets. The launch shows Amazon's intent to claim more of Mexicans' wallets, said Gene Munster, research head at Loup Ventures.
In the United States, Amazon moved into online grocery sales through a $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods Market last year. It offers two-hour delivery and lets shoppers pick up Amazon products from Whole Foods stores.
Walmart, meanwhile, aims to deliver groceries to over 40 percent of U.S. households by year's end. The company plans to accelerate its online grocery business in Mexico as well, Walmart International's Chief Executive Judith McKenna said earlier this year. Soriana, La Comer and Chedraui are among Mexican grocers that also offer delivery services, along with online marketplace MercadoLibre.