AP Photo/Joe Nicholson
Amazon Fresh delivery man Tim Wilkie prepares a grocery order for delivery to a residence on Mercer Island, Wash., Thursday, Aug. 23, 2007. Amazon Fresh is a new grocery delivery service being tested by Amazon.com in a handful of Seattle neighborhoods including Mercer Island. Amazon.com has deployed a fleet of 12 grocery delivery trucks. Customers can also pick up fresh grocery orders at a small number of locations in the area.
The hyper-competitive grocery market in LA is expecting a major new player in the coming days. Reuters reports that Amazon.com will offer grocery delivery to your doorstep, including fresh organic produce, meat and dairy.
AmazonFresh, as its grocery section is called, has been testing in its hometown of Seattle for the last five years. It's expected to add LA, San Francisco and 20 other urban markets if all goes well.
The fear for other grocers, large and small, is that Amazon.com will treat its food business as a loss leader; just one more way to attract consumers buying more expensive wares such as electronics. Regardless, market watchers have seen many grocery businesses fail, both online and off.
If you're a regular Amazon shopper, will you add milk and strawberries to your power blender order? If you're not a regular on Amazon, could rock-bottom prices make you switch from your current market? Why is Amazon taking this step? What will Amazon do differently to try to ensure success?
Mary Sullivan, research analyst at RetailNet Group
Burt Flickinger, Managing Director, Strategic Resource Group; Flickinger is a retail consultant specializing in grocers and the Southern California food market