Amazon to Roll Out Grocery Delivery Service

If running errands like grocery shopping isn’t your cup of tea, Amazon‘s got your back. The company is doing internal testing of a free grocery delivery service.

If this program works out, remembering the milk might be a thing of the past.

Dubbed AmazonTote, the program has been tested by Amazon employees in Seattle for the past six months or so. In its infancy, the service entails weekly delivery of groceries and other items to the user’s home, with the groceries bagged in reusable tote bags, all free of charge.

According to The Financial Times, the service is linked to Amazon’s Fresh grocery delivery service, which currently only operates in the Seattle area but is available to all consumers in that area.

Fresh offers fresh produce and meats in addition to non-perishable grocery items; the service goes beyond food, too, ranging from pet supplies to beauty products and other categories. Granted, the convenience is reflected in the price — would you pay $2.50 for a single grapefruit under any other circumstances? — but you get what you pay for, which in this case amounts to a lot of time and energy saved.

Clearly, customers’ being able to order everyday home items online and have them delivered to their doors would put Amazon in further competition with big-box retailers. As an online bookstore, Amazon has given companies like Barnes & Noble and Borders a run for their money.

If Amazon’s delivery service goes nationwide — and if it remains free and frequent — we can see the online retailer grabbing business from Walmart, Target and even local grocery stores. Alternatively, Walmart, Target, et al. would be forced to offer competing delivery services of their own. In either case, the consumer wins.

Image courtesy of iStockphoto, DNY59.

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