Amazon Expands in the E-Commerce Battleground

The Lempert Report
September 26, 2014

Amazon’s grocery drop-off service is expanding its reach even further – by using the mailman.

While U.S. Postal Service and Amazon have already partners in Sunday deliveries, they have now launched a trial to shuttle insulated containers of meat, dairy, produce and other groceries to San Francisco customers' doorsteps. This trial could preview a broader national rollout, expanding the reach of the online delivery service.

For the USPS, who have been chasing a piece of the e-commerce pie, if this is successful it will provide them with a much needed boost. 

The Postal Service said it is testing AmazonFresh deliveries "to determine if delivering groceries to residential and business addresses would be feasible from an operations standpoint and could be financially beneficial for the organization."A spokeswoman said the USPS is making the drop-offs between 3 a.m. and 7 a.m.; few of its trucks are in use at those hours. Because Amazon uses insulated tote bags for perishable groceries, the agency can make deliveries without the benefit of refrigerated trucks.

Grocery delivery has become the modern battleground for food retailers and there’s been a steady emergence of same- and next-day delivery service from the likes of Amazon, fresh direct, Wal-Mart stores, Peapod and now even Wholefoods too are stepping up their game and teaming up with Instacart. Whoever may come out strongest in the e-commerce world, this trend serves as another reminder that neighborhood supermarkets need to step up their game.

As the e-commerce giants battle it out, local supermarkets should not fall behind in what they can offer.