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Amazon delivers alcohol in one-hour delivery service

26 August 2015

Amazon is extending its one-hour delivery service to Seattle and three other Washington cities, under Prime Now, a benefit available through mobile app exclusively for Prime members. It offered free two-hour delivery in addition to one-hour delivery for $7.99.

Prime members can order items like wine and beer, ice cream and televisions and other items from 8 am to midnight.

The service was aimed at saving customers a trip to the store.

"Customers love the convenience of one-hour delivery and we're excited to bring Prime Now to our hometown customers in Seattle and surrounding areas," said Stephenie Landry, director of Amazon's Prime Now service.

Members would need to download the Prime Now app to use the service, which launched in Manhattan last December.

Earlier this month, Amazon found itself at the centre of a controversy triggered by a report in The New York Times, which criticised the working conditions at Amazon (See: Amazon chief defends workplace conditions following NYT report). In a memo to employees CEO Jeff Bezos defended the company's practices.

Amazon said it would start delivering wine, beer and spirits to US customers for the first time as part of Prime Now.

Amazon Prime, the company's $99 per year shopping membership programme, offered free two-day delivery on millions of items. It was a key testing ground for the retailer's new services, for a wide range of items from TV and on-demand video.

Amazon claimed it had ''tens of millions'' of Prime subscribers and according to analysts, the programme had around 40 million users worldwide.

Amazon had steadily expanded Prime Now since the launch of the service in New York City last year. It facilitated integration of the retailer's grocery delivery service, Amazon Fresh, which had been slower to expand to new markets.

On-demand grocery delivery remains a competitive market in the US. Instacart, a grocery delivery company, announced yesterday that it had expanded to Indianapolis, its 17th city.

Other startups, like Postmates, which focused on meal delivery, also delivered personal care goods and alcohol for customers through a network of couriers.

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