Mercer Island was the Fresh’s first love. No, we’re not jealous it’s expanding. Well, maybe a little. Photo: amish.patel.
The real news is buried at the end of the story. Residents of the new neighborhood– most likely it’ll be Ballard– will have to be Amazon Prime members.
This is probably not good news for us Fresh customers. I can see only two reasons why they’d do this:
- They’re trying to increase adoption of Amazon Prime. But that’s odd, because grocery delivery must work better at scale. 3 deliveries per block must be better than making deliveries to a handful of Prime customers. Prime isn’t even profitable as a program by itself, it’s a bet that Prime customers will give Amazon more share of wallet. So why cut off non-Prime customers who would order anyway?
- Amazon is migrating Amazon Fresh to just plain Amazon, which already delivers dry goods. You can even get a subscription to your favorite cat food. If this is true, we’d lose all the refrigerated items- fresh produce, ice cream, guacamole.
Both options would would basically kill the Fresh as we know it. Today, I can (and do) order at night to have vegetables delivered the next day for dinner. With delivery of dry goods only, I’d still end up making all those annoying stops at the grocery store.
I love seeing those light green trucks driving around the Island, and even more I love seeing my groceries on my doorstep when I get home. But Amazon Fresh is still a test program, and it could go away any time. Amazon Fresh, don’t leave us to the mercy of Mercer Island grocery stores!
Bonus link: Seattle Daily Photo catches the Fresh in the act.
UPDATE as of 1/16: Techflash says Ravenna edged out Ballard. Savvy grocery customers, those Ravennans. Welcome to the Fresh club!