Los Angeles got a new a grocery retailer this week. Online retail giant, Amazon (yes, that Amazon), began delivering groceries in select Los Angeles areas as of Monday under the AmazonFresh service, which has been active in Seattle since 2007.
Customers can choose from half a million product offerings including fresh produce, breads and cheeses. According to the Los Angeles Times, LA is just the tip of the expansion iceberg for Amazon, "Analysts expect the service to expand to nearly two dozen other markets by the end of next year."
Despite Amazon's mega-success online, many customers aren't super keen on ordering groceries unseen, particularly fresh items. Still, with gas prices exceptionally high and the summer heat beginning its beat down on the city, Amazon could see quite a bit of consumer interest from Angelinos. Industry experts cited by the Times suggest online grocery sales will grow by 9.5 percent a year through 2017. That's up significantly from just 1.2 percent each year between 2007 and 2012.
The Times detailed how the system works: orders placed by 10am will be delivered that day by 6pm "in sealed, temperature-controlled tote bags." Orders placed by 10pm are delivered by 6am, with the exception of specialty items that come from shops and restaurants in the area that are closed overnight.
The program comes at a cost beyond the price of groceries, too. For Amazon Prime members, it's free for 90 days. After that, it's $299 a year (including the $79 Prime membership fee). Orders totaling more than $35 are not charged a delivery fee.
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