Amazon is launching a new website to tap into the construction and industrial supplies market in the US, and could soon target the UK construction industry.
AmazonSupply caters to the business-to-business market, offering a range of 500,000 products and shipping to more than 50 countries, including the UK.
Retail analysts think business-to-business maybe be the next big thing for the online superstore and expect AmazonSupply to cross the Atlantic fairly soon.
If AmazonSupply does launch in the UK, then builders' merchants are one of the businesses most likely to be affected, especially in easily shippable items.
The market in building materials is estimated to be worth some £40bn with on-line sales through websites such as Screwfix.com and plumbworld.co.uk, taking a small, but growing share.
Offering an array of valves, pipes and fittings, as well as power and hand tools, the move could mean installers will be able to buy equipment and parts online with fast delivery.
What they may want to bear in mind is that by doing so they won’t be able to check the products in advance or benefit from the knowledge of a builders’ merchant.
A good number of the products on AmazonSupply can be found on the regular site already, however.
According to the vice president of AmazonSupply, Prentis Wilson, the move followed positive feedback about the industrial selection currently available on Amazon.com.
“We're excited to offer a dedicated store to meet our business and industrial customers' needs," he added.