back to article It was bound to happen: Amazon launches first grocery store

Amazon has once again expanded its reach in all things commerce, this time with its own take on the grocery store. A pilot program being carried out under the Amazon Fresh banner will allow Seattle residents to order various fresh grocery items (including produce and dairy) ahead of time, and then pick them up at an Amazon …

  1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Do they substitute products if unavailable?

    Like if they don't have Granny Smith's they'll send a kilo of iPhones instead.

    1. Flakk

      Re: Do they substitute products if unavailable?

      Heh.

      The iPhones might compare favorably in terms of crispness, but I don't think I'd be very fond of the flavor.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do they substitute products if unavailable?

      I can confirm they do, I ordered some kiwis and ended up with a house full of new Zealanders,

    3. VinceH Silver badge

      Re: Do they substitute products if unavailable?

      On the upside, in the context of general groceries, their habit of identifying previous purchases and suggesting you buy it again makes a little more sense.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do they substitute products if unavailable?

      If you were wanting to make juice then I'm realibly informed that iPhones do blend

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: Do they substitute products if unavailable?

        If you were wanting to make juice then I'm realibly informed that iPhones do blend

        I hear that they are hell on the blender blades though....

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Do they substitute products if unavailable?

        They just say it's out of stock. Seems sensible use of a stock management system. Who'd have guessed?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You got it spot on

    In other Amazon-taking-over-the-world news

    That's what I have been saying for some time. They want to be the ONLY retailer left standing. Then you will be beholden to Bezos and crew.

    It will only be a matter of time before Amazon and Google/Alphabet merge.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: You got it spot on

      I think you're onto the plan since they are now opening bookstores to replace the ones they've killed off...

  3. sjsmoto

    I guess it'll work

    "Customers who bought Cheapy's Hot Curry Spread also bought Cheapy's 20-count Bog Rolls."

  4. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    No, just....no

    This is wrong on so many levels

    The major online grocery retailers work because they have massive bricks-and-mortar shops and warehouses to provide good prices. Unless amazon plan to buy out Kwikimart or something that won't apply.

    And it's another tax on Prime users. 'Free' - but useless if you don't want it/aren't eligible. I just wish they'd split Prime into its component parts - I'd happily pay a fair price for free next day delivery, but they don't offer that. Prime means that as well as the delivery I have to pay for lots of useless things I'll never want or use (Clarkson?).

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: No, just....no

      "pay a fair price for free next day delivery"

      Uh, then it's not bloody FREE next day delivery, is it??

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: No, just....no

      If you're "old school", going to the store and looking at what you're buying (especially fruits, veggies, and meat) is a ritual. I know of several chef's at higher end restaurants who buy their produce and meats this way as they don't trust the local suppliers to inspect and check the quality of their goods.

      1. joed

        Re: No, just....no

        I'd add to this. Not only I'd rather pick "my own", but I'd like to pick some random stuff here and there besides basics I needed. So much for scripted shopping (not worth the time it takes to put together the list). And going off my way is not an option (Amazon or any other membership scheme/chain).

        1. Oh Homer
          Facepalm

          Re: No, just....no

          Ordering online but then collecting in person is just silly. It's the worst of both worlds. Surely the whole point of buying online is to avoid leaving the couch/bed/desk. If I'm going to have to travel miles to pick up groceries in person then I may as well just do the shopping in person while I'm there. That way I also get the opportunity to buy the "spoiled" discount items that never make it into the online store, plus I get to smell and feel the stuff I'm buying - a reasonably important consideration when it comes to food.

          1. Jeffrey Nonken Silver badge

            Re: No, just....no

            Mobile but pressed for time.

            Mobile but hate shopping, esp. waiting in line. Me myself personally, I hate waiting in lines.

            Only quasi-mobile, e.g. wheelchair-bound. Or not wheelchair-bound, but walking is difficult and/or painful.

            There are three scenarios that may not apply to you, but may apply to other people.

  5. Barry Rueger

    Hardly new

    Our preferred grocery store has had this for a couple of years, along with chilled lockers for after hours pickups. The success of this depends on staff who are very, very careful shoppers.

  6. uncommon_sense
    Go

    More B's, please!

    Bezos Behemoth Big Brother Brunch Bunch!

    Thats six, anyone better?

  7. GrapeBunch Silver badge

    the full feeling of ownership

    I'd claim credit for inventing internet grocery shopping, but nevermind it was probably modelled by some fantasist in 1832. In my model, there was no internet, it was server-modem-POTS-(300 BAUD) modem-client. And the groceries were delivered. It was a society where, for whatever reason, the personal automotive vehicle was deprecated.

  8. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    Windows

    To the future...

    Suddenly, going to my greengrocer and buying the exact number of mushrooms, shallots, peppers and potatoes that I need seems like an unimaginable treat.

  9. Hollerithevo Silver badge

    How is this different from Ocado, Sainsburys and Tesco

    ...except they bring it to your door? I already avoid Amazon as much as I can and support smaller specialist vendors (DVDs, CDs, clothing etc), because of Amazon's shit treatment of their staff. I can't see how they'd be any better with food distrbutors and farmers, who are already squeezed.

  10. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Warehousing of books, etc.

    ...is one thing, but dairy, and other food items are on an entirely different level.

    Having to go through the compliance hoops of ensuring that food is kept at the correct temperature, is properly stock rotated, and within BBE guidelines, has no burst packaging or pest infestation issues, is not exposed to other food items containing allergens, means staff have to be properly trained, and stock management needs extra tables/fields for these extras, all of which costs.

    The likes of Ocado and Sainsburys have food hygiene built into their stock management already, and flogging tv's etc. is the icing on their cake for them, whereas Amazon are approaching from the opposite direction.

  11. Neoc

    Not new.

    Woolworths and Coles here in Oz do both Pick-up and Home Delivery. Specify a 2-hour window on a specific day and it'll be delivered to your door. They do require someone to be there, though.

  12. MJI Silver badge

    Easier to go to Tesco

    It is my local shop.

    This means if I want something, in 5 minutes I have it.

  13. bombastic bob Silver badge
    Pirate

    wait until the grocer unions get wind of it

    wait until the grocer unions get wind of it. Over here in the USA, Target and Walmart and other "non-union" retailers offer groceries now, and it's WAY cheaper than Vons/Safeway or the others. And so I've been getting a lot from Target and Walmart lately, though the availability and selection isn't quite as good. I can still go to Vons for things NOT carried at Target, but my grocery bill is considerably smaller than it would have otherwise been, maybe 20 percent or more.

    So yeah I welcome the competition. I'm tired of being presented ONLY with expensive brand-named things at the grocery stores anyway... when Walmart's _slightly_ lower quality, half-priced alternative is effectively just as good [except it requires a trip to WalMart, something I don't enjoy all that much]

  14. Mail_order_innit?
    Facepalm

    Mail order, but without "the mail"

    Who'd have thought we'd gone full circle so quickly: mail order that you have to collect yourself.

  15. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    Amazon to buy Whole Foods

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-40306099

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