amazonfreshAmazon Fresh continues its expansion across the West Coast, announcing today that it is opening its grocery delivery service in San Diego. With the new service now available in San Diego, customers can pick among 500,000 products, from milk and cheese to shampoo and batteries.

Operated as a test in the Seattle area for five years, Amazon Fresh slowly began to expand beyond the Northwest last year with operations in San Francisco and LA.

With San Diego now in service, Amazon Fresh is operating in four of the key markets along the West Coast.

In a conference call last year with stock analysts, CFO Tom Szkutak noted that Fresh was designed as a pilot program.

“Certainly the economics have improved through invention on behalf of the team there, as well as operating efficiencies,” said Szkutak, adding at the time that it is a “challenge” to make the service run profitably.

Of course, already operates with very low margins, and it has shown a great appetite to invest for the long-term. In fact, Amazon Fresh is a perfect example of founder Jeff Bezos’ love of long-term thinking.

Even so, new entrants are emerging in the online grocery delivery market, including Instacart, which is led by former employee Apoorva Mehta.

Like in other markets, customers can start a 30-day free trial by setting up a Prime Fresh account, an upgraded tier of Amazon Prime. After that trial, the service costs $299 per year.

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  • Kary

    I may have to give them another try. I gave up on them because they didn’t manage inventory well at all–too many things out of stock, and not just perishable items. I had assumed they were winding down the service.

    They weren’t nearly as good as or even Webvan, which is surprising for Amazon.

    • Jeff Greatorex

      Are you speaking of the of the late 90s early 00s?

      Amazon invested in Homegrocer back in.. ’99 or something, and then outright bought them out of bankruptcy later.

      • Kary

        Yes–the entity was bought by Webvan and then the combined entity shut down a very short time later.

  • Ryan

    Just tried to sign up with three San Diego addresses, none of them were eligible for Amazon Fresh

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