updated 07:14 am EDT, Thu April 24, 2014
Amazon delivers up to 45 pounds of groceries for flat $6 charge
Amazon is taking on warehouse clubs and wholesale retailers, by offering another grocery service alongside its existing AmazonFresh efforts. Amazon Pantry, first surfacing in a rumor at the end of last year, will allow Prime subscribers in the United States to purchase a large number of different household items in one order, and have them delivered for a flat fee.
Customers have a wide assortment of snacks, cleaning supplies, and other items typically bought from supermarkets to choose from. A virtual cardboard box warns how much of the box is full as items are bought, with the order limited to four cubic feet or 45 pounds, whichever is achieved first, and then delivered for $5.99 within four business days.
While some may find that Amazon Pantry duplicates the existing AmazonFresh offering, Pantry deals with packaged goods with a longer shelf life rather than quickly-perishable items, and is being offered to the 48 contiguous states with longer delivery times, instead of the restricted delivery area and next-day deliveries AmazonFresh provides.
Some Prime subscribers may also be put off by the delivery fee added on top of the order, when Prime deliveries are usually meant to be free as part of the subscription. Amazon points out in the support pages that the service includes heavy and bulky items that are "cost prohibitive to ship for free," such as large packages of soft drinks or detergent, that are not typically offered under Prime's free delivery.