Shops & Markets

Video: ‘Amazon is our rival … Peckham’s needs to change to compete and expand’

By Ian Marland at

A hi-tech delicatessen fit for the 21st century may seem far-fetched.

But Peckham’s new owners say they cannot afford to stand still.

Peckham's  and Amazon

Instore: major changes are being planned to bring Peckham’s into the 21st century

Andrew Duncan, who acquired the West End chain in June with his business partner Lee Fish, says the business has to face up to reality.

And that reality is something familiar to us all – online shopping and the presence of giants such as Amazon.

For Andrew, whose expertise is in technology, the challenge is an exciting one.

The innovations he wants to introduce to Peckham’s are the very things his tech company SwarmOnline does for a living.

And to prove his credentials, his Pacific Quay-based company is currently developing an app for the world’s biggest retailer Walmart.

Peckham's and Amazon

Fresh: the new owners want to reinvent the delicatessen for the 21st century

Andrew told Glasgow West End Today that he and Lee are determined to see Peckham’s move forward and expand.

“I think in reality the biggest competitors we have are probably companies like Amazon.

“And that’s because they’re beginning to get into food retail in a way like we have never seen before.

“So, they are all about delivering food direct to your door, and the consumers are basically choosing the produce online, having it delivered, and then rating it.

“Interestingly, Amazon took over Wholefoods in America on the same day that we took over Peckham’s.

“It shows you where things are going for a company like Amazon.”

Andrew Duncan:

“I think in reality the biggest competitors we have are probably companies like Amazon.

“And that’s because they’re beginning to get into food retail in a way like we have never seen before.”

He added: “But for us and Peckham’s we are all about good food, and good wine.

“So that’s what we really want to be focusing on, and then building a digital experience around that, so that our customers can have the best experience, the best engagement with us as possible.

“And that starts with the absolute basics like having a really good website, doing social media properly.

Peckham's and Amazon

Fine wine: Peckham’s is all about good food and good wine, says Andrew

“These are things that Peckham’s really hasn’t done right up until now.”

But the clever stuff is what Andrew is planning in-store and which he aims to introduce over the coming months.

A loyalty card scheme is an obvious move to make, to replicate what the big retailers have done on a smaller scale.

But the fun begins when you start to think of other possibilities.

Andrew Duncan:

“We want to expand the company again – we’d like to get it back to its former glory.

“In the old days it had 14 shops up and down Scotland, so we’d like to go for that.

“For it’s not just about selling good produce but it’s about giving the customer an amazing experience.”

Andrew says: “We are going to introduce a series of apps that will allow customers to choose produce accordingly to what they might be eating or wanting to drink, or whether they may be going to a party.

“And then ultimately have that food prepared, ready fresh for them in the shop for them to come and collect, or for it to be sent to their house, next day or same day or whenever it may be.”

For all the technology, Andrew knows the core to Peckham’s success is getting the food and wine right.

To prove the new owners’ intent, more than 200 new wines have already been introduced to the stores on Hyndland Road and Byres Road.


Watch: Andrew Duncan talks about the future for Peckham’s

Lee, who formerly held the UK franchise for O’Briens sandwich cafés, is working with suppliers to reinvigorate what Peckham’s offers.

Andrew said: “We want to expand the company again – we’d like to get it back to its former glory.

“In the old days it had 14 shops up and down Scotland, so we’d like to go for that.

“For us it’s not just about selling good produce but it’s about giving the customer an amazing experience.

“That’s where I come in – I’m a technologist.

“I want to be able to help our customers engage with us in new ways and ultimately see us become the most technologically-advanced deli in the country.”