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SEATTLE -- Is Amazon.com fixing to be the Web's Wal-Mart Supercenter? The leading e-tailer took what might be a first step in that direction yesterday, by adding a new grocery store to its mega e-merchandising site that will hawk more than 10,000 non-perishable grocery items "with convenience and low prices." Online food retailing may never be the same.
"At Amazon.com we want to build a place where people can come to find and discover anything they may be looking to buy online," Amazon.com spokeswoman Tracy Ogden told Progressive Grocer. "Our customers have told us that they'd like to be able to buy grocery products in an Amazon.com shopping environment, and we're working to build a destination that offers a large selection of products with the convenience and low prices our customers expect."
Among the features of the new site, according to Ogden:
-- A large selection of dry grocery products, including major brands, as well as natural and organic brands.
-- Easy site navigation, lots of product information, and great search capabilities.
-- The convenience of a single shopping cart/shared check-out.
-- Outstanding value on a wide range of merchandise, plus free super saver shipping.
-- Ordering payment information already on file for current Amazon customers.
Amazon.com will ship anywhere in the continental United States. Customers can choose from standard shipping (3-5 business days), two-day shipping, or one-day shipping.
Customers are eligible for free shipping on orders that top $25.
Another interesting tidbit: As of yesterday afternoon, nine of the top 10 most popular items were diapers.
No word on when Amazon might begin to take on the Fresh Direct's of the virtual world.
-- Jenny McTaggart