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    Home Page Letter from Amazon.com Founder Heralds New E-Grocery Store

    SEATTLE -- Following a beta testing period that began late May, online retailer Amazon.com yesterday launched its grocery store formally with a letter from founder and c.e.o. Jeff Bezos posted front and center on the mega e-retailer's home page.

    SEATTLE -- Following a beta testing period that began late May, online retailer Amazon.com yesterday launched its grocery store formally with a letter from founder and c.e.o. Jeff Bezos posted front and center on the mega e-retailer's home page.

    "Since our new Grocery store appeared in beta in late May, more than 200,000 customers have tested it, ordering everything from Kashi Cereal to Jiffy Pop popcorn," wrote Bezos. "We are now officially opening Amazon Grocery, a store filled with stuff you need and stuff you love, everyday staples and fun new snacks."

    As an introductory offer, shoppers will receive a $10 instant rebate on purchases of $49 or more in the store.

    The online store's 14,000 dry grocery products consist of more than 1,200 brands such as Nestle, Kellogg, Kraft, Seventh Generation, and Procter and Gamble, as well as a selection of natural and organic products, including brands such as Annie's Homegrown, Newman's Own, Bear Naked, and Nature's Gate.

    "When we asked customers what they wanted from a grocery store on Amazon.com, the answer was clear: 'great brands and products, at competitive prices, shipped free or via Amazon Prime,'" said Doug Herrington, v.p. of Amazon's grocery store. "We think we've met that challenge."

    Currently about half the store's selection is natural and organic. Adding to the segment's prominence, Boulder, Colo.-based natural and organic foods retailer Wild Oats sells more than 200 of its own store-branded products on the Amazon Web site, following a strategy it inaugurated with Ahold-owned online grocer Peapod last year.

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