Explaining Southern California's economy

Amazon launches online grocery service in LA

Amazon Fresh

Flickr/leff

AmazonFresh launched in parts of Los Angeles on Monday.

Amazon launched its online grocery service on Monday in parts of Los Angeles, which local businesses say will elevate their profile among local shoppers.

The service, called AmazonFresh, used to be only available in Seattle. Now, shoppers in LA can log onto Amazon, order groceries along with books and electronics, and get it delivered to their homes by dinner or breakfast the next day.

About 30 local businesses have signed up as vendors, including Intelligentsia Coffee, Santa Monica Seafood and Cake Monkey Bakery.

Lisa Olin, owner of Cake Monkey Bakery, said Amazon’s online grocery business will help her North Hollywood business reach more customers. If someone is on Amazon’s website looking for chocolate cake and they are based in LA, they will get a recommendation to buy her cake.

“The advantage here is that Amazon’s marketing is so far reaching,” she said.

Olin said Amazon takes a percentage of the sale but declined to say how much. She said it’s comparable to when she sells her products wholesale to other stores.

Amazon customers will pay to use the grocery service. Customers need to sign up for Amazon Prime membership, which gives customers perks like free shipping for books. That membership can cost $79 a year.

Once customers are part of Amazon Prime, they will receive a free three-month trial of the online grocery service, called AmazonFresh. After the trial ends, it will cost customers $299 a year to continue using AmazonFresh. That membership includes free delivery on orders $35 or more.

Amazon said the online grocery service is available at several LA zip codes, but did not respond to KPCC’s request for a list of those areas.

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