Amazon publishes books, builds smartphones, distributes videos, and produces television shows, not to mention its core business: it sells almost everything. Now, the company is launching its grocery delivery business on the East Coast for the first time on Friday, when it begins delivering food to customers in New York City in an effort to break into the grocery delivery market.
Amazon’s service, called AmazonFresh, promises same-day grocery delivery to customers in New York as long as orders are placed before 10 am, Re/code reports. AmazonFresh will currently deliver only to Park Slope residents, targeting upper middle class families in the Brooklyn neighborhood where there’s sure to be a high concentration of avid Amazon acolytes.
For now, the program is only available to New Yorkers who are members of Amazon’s $99-per-year Prime program, which allows customers to buy pretty much anything from Amazon for free on a two-day delivery. The service has already been operating in Seattle and a few metro areas in California.
How successful will AmazonFresh be? The company is competing against a local online grocer in New York, FreshDirect — which already has a well-established foothold in the city — as well as startups like Instacart. And the grocery business often operates at low profit margins. But if AmazonFresh gets customers to start ordering, it could boost its same-day delivery business to include higher-margin goods.