Amazon Fresh expands to San Francisco market

12/18/2013 10:32:00 AM
Tom Karst

Expansion of Amazon Fresh into the San Francisco region in December is opening more homes to online ordering and home delivery of fresh produce and perhaps cracking the door wider for a grocery revolution.

The company’s website said the service, offering fresh grocery and local products, is available to select San Francisco zip codes as a 30-day trail of Prime Fresh, which is a new level of Amazon Prime that include the benefits of Prime, in addition to access to AmazonFresh. After a free 30-day trial, Prime Fresh customers will be charged $299 for a year’s subscription, according to the website. Amazon Fresh also delivered fresh groceries in Los Angeles and Seattle.

The company recently opened a 1 million-square-foot fulfilment/distribution center in Tracy, Calif., only 55 miles from San Francisco. The company also has recently opened California facilities in San Bernardino and Patterson.

Amazon Prime Fresh offers free delivery on orders over $35, according to the company’s website. If an order is placed by 10 a.m., Amazon said the customer will have it by dinner, An order placed by 10 p.m. will be delivered by breakfast, according to the website.

A few of the items offered by Amazon Fresh to San Francisco area customers were a lemon for 50 cents, a five-count bunch of bananas for $1.49, a medium sized Hass avocado for $1.25, a gala apple for 99 cents and a 16-ounce clamshell of Earthbound Farm organic spring mix for $5.99.

Coverage of the entry of Amazon Fresh into the San Francisco market by The Mercury News said that Amazon Fresh faces competition from several home-shopping competitors including Instacart, Wal-Mart and Google.

In a 60 Minutes interview that aired Dec. 1, Amazon’s chief executive officer Jeff Bezos said that the company waited five years to expand Amazon Fresh from the home Seattle market to Los Angeles earlier this year (and now San Francisco) because it needed the grocery delivery model make financial sense.

“If we can make this model work, it would be great because it extends the range of products that we can sell,” Bezos told 60 Minutes.

The Amazon Fresh initiative will be worth watching, retail analysts said .


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