The only retailer Amazon hasn’t yet put out of business is your local grocer, but it sounds like the online company is ready to tackle that market as early as next week. According to sources speaking with Reuters, Amazon has been quietly testing a new grocery business that would deliver fresh produce—eggs, fruit, meat—right to your door.
Testing has allegedly been ongoing in Amazon’s backyard of Seattle, and will expand to Los Angeles in a matter of days. Beyond that, the company will bring AmazonFresh to San Francisco later this year and, if the roll out goes well, other urban areas throughout next year. The ultimate goal is to achieve a worldwide influence, though it’s unclear what countries are first on Amazon’s hitlist.
Amazon has seen a tremendous growth spurt over the past few years, and the grocery market reportedly generates quite a bit of dough. If the company does jump into the market, chains such as Kroger Co., Safeway Inc and even Whole Foods Market could be threatened. Other firms that offer similar services, such as Fresh Direct, may also face increased competition.
“Amazon has been testing this for years and now it’s time for them to harvest what they’ve learned by expanding outside Seattle,” said Bill Bishop, a well-known supermarket analyst.
According to Reuters, Amazon will also use the service as a pilot for using its own delivery trucks, which could filter on down to other items purchased from the online retailer. This, obviously, would put a damper on services like UPS and FedEx.
Obviously, home delivery for groceries is a difficult nut to crack, especially when produce has the potential to go bad or get damaged during delivery. On that front, people will obviously need to wait for deliveries to show up, rather than instantly getting their food at a store down the street.
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