Amazon Tests Delivery of Perishables

Internet retailing giant Amazon has begun a limited test of delivering perishable grocery items, according to reports last week. The retailer, which just last year launched a widespread grocery service for non-perishable items, has begun delivering fresh product to a small group of Mercer Island, Wash., customers from a warehouse here using its own fleet of 12 refrigerated trucks, the

SEATTLE — Internet retailing giant Amazon here has begun a limited test of delivering perishable grocery items, according to reports last week.

The retailer, which just last year launched a widespread grocery service for non-perishable items, has begun delivering fresh product to a small group of Mercer Island, Wash., customers from a warehouse here using its own fleet of 12 refrigerated trucks, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Amazon could not be reached for comment on the reports.

The “Amazon Fresh” pilot program includes next-day delivery of both organic and non-organic fresh produce, meat, fish, ice cream and other dairy products, according to one report, which also noted that the test could soon be expanded to other Seattle suburbs.

“We are going to evaluate our service closely and determine the best way to provide service,” Craig Berman, a spokesman for Amazon told the Journal.

According to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Amazon is planning to expand its service to eventually include delivery to pickup locations, beginning with sites in the Washington cities of Kirkland and Bellevue. The article also said Amazon was using temperature-controlled “totes” to deliver groceries overnight to arrive by 6 a.m.

In addition to its own service offering shelf-stable goods, Amazon has reportedly invested in the grocery-delivery business before, including in HomeGrocer.com [3] and Kozmo.com [4].