Amazon plans major move into grocery business [View all]
The company has been testing AmazonFresh in its hometown of Seattle for at least five years, delivering fresh produce such as eggs, strawberries and meat with its own fleet of trucks.
Amazon is now planning to expand its grocery business outside Seattle for the first time, starting with Los Angeles as early as this week and the San Francisco Bay Area later this year, according to the two people who were not authorized to speak publicly.
"Amazon has been testing this for years and now it's time for them to harvest what they've learned by expanding outside Seattle," said Bishop, chief architect at Brick Meets Click, a consulting firm focused on retail technology.
Still, groceries have proven to be one of the most difficult sectors for online retailers to crack. One of the most richly funded start-ups of the dot-com era, Webvan, was a spectacular failure as the cost of developing the warehouse and delivery infrastructure proved overwhelming.
(Reporting by Alistair Barr Editing by Jonathan Weber and Tim Dobbyn)