In December, Amazon launched a one hour delivery service for customers, trialing it first in a small area of Manhattan. This month though, the service will be rolled out to cover Baltimore and Miami and senior vice president, Dave Clark, plans to further expand the one hour option to an unknown list of cities. Customers who pay the annual $99 fee for a Prime membership will now be able to pay $7.99 for delivery of goods needed urgently.
For the moment, the products which fall into the Prime Now category are business essentials such as paper towels and bottled water. Mr Clark has commented though that there are “more surprising deliveries like getting a customer a hard-to-find, top selling toy in 23 minutes”. Prime Now orders can be processed between 8am and 10pm, seven days a week. Those who pay the $99 membership fee already have the option of a free two-hour delivery service.
In this week’s budget, George Osborne announced plans to help small business owners compete with retailers at the level of Amazon. Councils in Manchester, Cambridgeshire, Peterborough and Cheshire East will now retain 100% of business rates paid by local owners, the plan being to reinvest into the local community and businesses themselves. Mr Osborne said “my door is open to other areas that want to proceed as well”.