Gears Up to Deliver Real Apples With Amazon Fresh - InformationWeek
08:03 PM
Connect Directly
[Cybersecurity] Costs, Risks, & Benefits
Feb 28, 2017
How much should your organization spend on information security? What's the potential cost of a ma ...Read More>> Gears Up to Deliver Real Apples With Amazon Fresh

Amazon has launched an invite-only beta test of a new online grocery delivery service called Amazon Fresh in a Seattle suburb called Mercer Island.

If Safeway can delivery groceries ordered online, why not

The obvious answer is Webvan, the online grocery delivery service that lost hundreds of millions during its brief 1999 to 2001 lifespan as a public company.

But Amazon doesn't think about that. It has launched an invite-only beta test of a new online grocery delivery service called Amazon Fresh in a Seattle suburb, Mercer Island, Wash., without a thought for Webvan's inglorious end.

"We don't really focus on former companies or competitors," said Craig Berman, an Amazon spokesperson.

And yet Amazon tried to lure Terry Drayton, founder of, to run Amazon Fresh, but failed to reach a deal, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

In May, 1999, Amazon invested $42.5 million in HomeGrocer to acquire a 35% stake in the company. Webvan bought HomeGrocer in June, 2000, for $1.2 billion in stock, which would become worth very little the following year.

Though it isn't focusing on former companies or competitors, Amazon at least can draw on its own experience in the food delivery business. "We've been serving customers with gourmet food since 2003 and [dry] groceries since last year," said Berman. "We've learned a lot from that. With this effort, we're starting small and we'll expand when we feel that the experience is what customers expect from us."

Small means a dozen trucks and a refrigerated warehouse outside Seattle.

"For quite a while customers have been asking us, 'When am I going to be able to buy eggs from Amazon, when am I going to be able to buy fresh fruit?'" said Berman. "Taking that feedback, what you see now is Amazon Fresh. We're in an early stage of a beta test of a service providing fresh, frozen, and perishable goods to our customers."

Amazon doesn't have a specific time frame for when Amazon Fresh might be available elsewhere in the U.S. The company intends to evaluate how its Seattle operation is doing and to make decisions about expanding the service at some indeterminate point in the future.

Amazon Fresh's most interesting innovation is its Pre-Dawn Delivery option, which allows customers to place their orders online and find food on their doorsteps when they wake up the next day, provided passersby with shopping carts don't decide to help themselves first.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of the Cloud Report
As the use of public cloud becomes a given, IT leaders must navigate the transition and advocate for management tools or architectures that allow them to realize the benefits they seek. Download this report to explore the issues and how to best leverage the cloud moving forward.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll