Bloomberg reports that Google will begin testing grocery and fresh food delivery in two US cities later this year in an attempt to directly compete with AmazonFresh. Brian Elliot, general manager of Google Express stated that the company will be partnering with Whole Foods Market and Costco Wholesale, among others, to deliver the new service. Initial testing will begin in San Francisco and one other unnamed city…
The fresh food trial from Google Express will include fruits and vegetables, completely changing the way Google organizes its logistics. Instead of being a relatively simple pick up and delivery from warehouses, fresh food and delivery will require refrigeration, making the process more complex. Although challenging, Elliot believes that by giving consumers more options, it can boost profit and sales. This news comes just weeks after news broke claiming Google was going to be shutting down a couple of its own Google Express hubs in the Bay Area to save on costs.
“For a lot of our merchants that have been successful with this, we’re not representing the whole store today,” Elliott said in an interview. “It’s in our incentive, as well as the merchant’s incentive, for us to help customers get the full store delivered to them.”
As well as launching the fresh food delivery trial, Google will also be expanding its next day delivery service in the Midwest, in an area covering a potential 25 million consumers in and around Indiana, Wisconsin and Ohio.
Google Express delivers same-day or next-day packages from local stores in San Francisco, Peninsula & San Jose, West Los Angeles, Manhattan, Chicago, Boston, Northern California and Washington, DC. Currently, the company charges a $10 per month or $95 annual fee for membership and customers get free delivery in those areas, providing their orders are $15 or more. Any orders below $15 are charged $3 per store. What’s more, to attract early adopters, Google offers a free 3-month trial with the ability to cancel at any time.