Amazon has been delivering fresh groceries to customers on the West coast since earlier this year, but today the company is expanding to the Northeast starting with one Brooklyn neighborhood. The service, called Amazon Fresh, will be available in family-friendly Park Slope on Friday, though the company is likely to expand to other parts of the city including Manhattan in the future.
At the moment, Amazon Fresh will be available to any Prime subscribers already paying the standard $99 yearly fee, which also covers two-day delivery on all orders and free media streaming. Starting next year though, customers will need to upgrade to a special $299 Prime Fresh membership to keep getting their groceries delivered.
Amazon faces some tough competition in New York, and not just from its traditional rivals. Instead, the company is squaring off against Fresh Direct, a NY-based grocery delivery service and app that covers much of the city along with parts of upstate NY, New Jersey and Philadelphia. Fresh Direct first launched back in 2002 and has a pretty entrenched customer base, reportedly bringing in $500 million in sales per year.
Of course Amazon also has pretty great brand recognition, and for Prime customers who already pay $99 per year it makes sense to at least give the new service a try. The real question is whether anyone will stick around in 2015 when Amazon Fresh jacks up its prices.