Amazon has launched a one-hour new delivery service in selected areas of Manhattan, New York, today (19th December), which it plans to expand in 2015.
The service, called Prime Now, promises to deliver in one hour a range of more than 25,000 daily essentials, such as “paper towels, shampoo, books, toys and batteries”, through a mobile app. Amazon says that Prime Now is powered by its “growing network of fulfillment centers that utilise high-end technology to speed up order delivery times for customers”.
Amazon Prime Now is only available to customers with a Prime membership ($99 a year in the US and £79 a year the UK). The service will be in operation from 6 a.m. to midnight. Two-hour delivery is free and one-hour delivery is available for $7.99 (£5.10). After an order has been placed through the Amazon Prime Now mobile app, Amazon then dispatches a bike messenger with the goods to the customer’s door.
Currently, the service is only available to customers in the 10001 postcode of Manhattan, the area that contains Penn Station and the Empire State Building.
Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations, said: “There are times when you can’t make it to the store and other times when you simply don’t want to go. There are so many reasons to skip the trip and now Prime members in Manhattan can get the items they need delivered in an hour or less.”
He added: “We’ve long felt that Amazon Prime is the best deal in the history of shopping and now it has gotten even better. Prime members in Manhattan are going to love this service and we cannot wait to roll out Prime Now to additional cities in 2015.”
According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon had been testing the service with bike messengers for at least a few weeks from its new building on 34th Street in Manhattan, opposite the Empire State Building. Amazon has leased the entire building for 17 years to house office space as well as merchandise and a portion of the building will serve as a hub for delivery of Prime Now orders.
The paper also said that several analysts who tried out the service yesterday said they got their orders in less than an hour.