Testing Delivery Of Fresh Groceries To Some Markets

A year into the existence of, we’re still not really sure whether it’s the future of retail or a doomed wacky scheme. Now, in addition to taking on Amazon in the Everything Store sector, Jet is experimenting with the delivery of fresh groceries. That would mean the company is competing with urban grocery delivery leaders like Peapod and Instacart, but with its own warehouses.

Grocery stores are a low-margin business to begin with, and when you combine that with the need to keep items fresh and deliver them safely and quickly to customers’ doorsteps, grocery delivery becomes a tricky proposition.

A Jet representative told Recode that they’re testing grocery delivery in 875 ZIP codes, all found in the dense suburban and urban corridors of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC. Since Jet is in northern New Jersey, it makes sense that a lot of the pilot grocery delivery areas are in that state.

For now, Jet isn’t charging any membership or delivery fees, unlike just about every other company in the grocery sector. For comparison, when you join Amazon’s similar service, Amazon Fresh, which is also only available in some areas, it costs $299. That includes a year of Prime membership, but it’s still $200 for the right to buy groceries online.

If the company expands the program, it won’t necessarily be to make money from selling groceries, though that is one category that Amazon hasn’t completely taken over nationwide, because of the geographically limited nature of the Amazon Fresh program and the expense of joining it.

Amazon rival just started selling fresh groceries like milk and eggs [Recode]

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