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Amazon Prime Now Service Offers One-Hour Delivery From Local Stores

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Amazon is expanding its Prime Now one-hour delivery service to include items from select local stores.

The e-commerce company is launching the new service in certain Manhattan neighborhoods, where residents can use Prime Now to have their groceries, prepared meals and baked goods delivered within the hour from D'Agostino, Gourmet Garage and Billy's Bakery, the first three stores that have jumped into a partnership with Amazon. Later, the upscale Italian food market Eataly and Westside Market will also start having their items shipped to customers via Prime Now.

"We are launching delivery from local stores through Prime Now in Manhattan today and will add local stores in other cities where we offer Prime Now soon," said Dave Clark, Amazon senior vice president of worldwide operations. "So whether you're ordering diapers and a big-screen television from Amazon, fresh produce from D'Agostino, a chef-made prepared meal from Gourmet Garage or cupcakes from Billy's Bakery, we will get all of the items right to your door in lightning-fast speeds."

Users can purchase goods from the select local stores through Amazon's Prime Now app, which is available for both iOS and Android devices. Those who want to receive their items within 60 minutes of ordering and paying can put in an additional $7.99 to have their package shipped right away, while people who are willing to wait a little bit more, or more specifically for two hours, get their items shipped for free.

Right now, Amazon offers Prime Now in very limited areas in the country, including select zip codes in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Brooklyn, Manhattan and Miami. The service was launched in December as a response to Google's Shopping Express, a same-day delivery service that charges customers an extra $5 to have their goods shipped within the day.

By shortening the waiting time for shipments to just one hour or a couple of hours without charging anything, Amazon hopes to one-up Google's fast shipping service. In the past, Amazon has tried using Uber-like taxi deliveries for its Prime Now customers, but the company said it has a large hub in Manhattan that is home to "tens of thousands" of products being shipped to customers every day, aside from the products offered by its Prime Now partners.

"Using Prime Now to deliver to customers in one hour is a no-brainer," said Gourmet Garage CEO Andy Arons. "It enables us to utilize Amazon's operations expertise and technology to reach our customers fast with a high-level of quality and freshness at prices that customers would find in our stores."

Photo: Atomic Taco | Flickr

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