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Amazon Launches Food Delivery Service in L.A.

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Photo by zabdiel on Flickr
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Food delivery services have been on the rise as of late, and we can't blame Angelenos for buying in. After all, anything that can help us avoid more driving has got to be a good thing, especially when it involves farm-fresh produce being delivered to our door. Amazon is hoping to get in on the action, and is launching their first food delivery service outside Seattle soon.

Here's how the program called AmazonFresh will work, according to L.A. Observed:

Orders will arrive in insulated containers; deliveries will be made either during a three-hour window when the items are just dropped off or during a one-hour window when customers accept the groceries in person. Delivery charges are $9.99 for anything under $50, $7.99 for orders between $50 and $100, and free delivery for orders over $100.

If the new location goes well, they may launch AmazonFresh in 20 other urban areas in 2014, including some outside the United States. But not everyone seems confident that AmazonFresh, which has been operating in Seattle for the past five years, will be a successful model.

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Says Reuters:

Roger Davidson, a former grocery executive at Wal-Mart, Whole Foods and Supervalu, said Amazon will struggle to make money from AmazonFresh because fresh produce can easily go bad in storage warehouses and get damaged during delivery - something known as "shrink" in the business. "Will it work? I would bet against it," Davidson said. "The reasons these businesses have failed in the past have not gone away." Still, Amazon is not alone in wanting to expand in the online grocery business. Wal-Mart is testing same-day and next-day delivery of online grocery and general merchandise orders in the San Francisco Bay Area and operates a "highly successful" grocery delivery business in Britain.

We just hope they can create as clever ad campaigns for their shipping as KMart.