Amazon.com, Inc. announced Tuesday that the Prime members in Seattle will be able to take advantage of the restaurant delivery service offered by it. This marks Amazon’s first push into the meal delivery market, which is known for its razor-thin margins.
Amazon won’t charge for the delivery
The Prime Now app of the firm can now be used for placing food orders from dozens of diners in the Seattle area. The firm won’t charge any extra amount for the delivery service. Amazon Restaurants general manger, Gus Lopez told Reuters that diners will get access to Amazon’s delivery network, and a cut from the profits made by the partner restaurants from orders received will be taken by Amazon.
Amazon’s Prime membership program is priced at $99-a year, and acts as a core growth area for the firm. The Prime Now app was launched by the firm in December last year in New York, and it promises to deliver tens of thousands of products within one and two hours of placing the order. More value will be added to this program with the new meal service. Across the world, there are about 40m Prime members, says a report from Reuters citing analysts’ estimates.
Amazon.com, Inc. made a casual attempt in restaurant services in the past, when it allowed the users to make use of its platform; Amazon Local, for ordering food. The deliveries back then were then handled by the merchants themselves. The fact that Amazon is all set to make use of its own fleet of drivers for delivering the meals, puts it in direct competition with the established rivals like GrubHub and also with Uber, a new entrant is this field, whose delivery services have expanded into cities like San Francisco and Austin.
Fire tablet at just $50
Separately, to push its growth further, a new basement-priced version of Fire tablet will be launched by the firm this fall. The WSJ reveals that Amazon.com, Inc. has plans of releasing a new Fire tablet with a 6-inch screen for an amount as less as $50. This tablet is expected to hit the market around the holiday season, and will be available at half the price of the current 6” Fire HD tablet.
WSJ further said that the firm also has plans of coming up with new devices with screens as large as 8-inch and 10-inch, but the price of these models are not known yet.