Amazon has launched a delivery service called Prime Now in central Ohio last week that measures the delivery service in hours rather than days. The new service will deliver tens of thousands products to Amazon Prime members within an hour at no addition charge within two hours.
The annual fee for Amazon Prime membership is $99. A Prime Now hub Amazon that operates at undisclosed location has made the new service possible. It shall be noted that the hub is different from the distribution centers built in Etna Township and Obetz.
An Amazon spokesman has affirmed that Prime Now hubs are smaller and have the ability to handle tens of thousands of items. Lee Peterson, executive vice president at WD Partners, was of the view that Amazon’s latest rollout could impact one of the last remaining areas, where traditional retailers still have an advantage over Amazon.
Peterson said that Amazon is trying to shake the position of physical retailers. Seeing the new service, Wal-Mart has announced a new scheme known as ShippingPass that provides two-day free delivery to customers, who buy an annual membership of $49.
Retail analyst Chris Boring, principal at Boulevard Strategies, said that some retailers are at more risk from the latest move of Amazon than others. The most at risk are mall-based fashion retailers and providers of leisure goods like electronics, sporting goods, pet merchandise, books and music.
Two categories that should remain unaffected from these schemes include retailers that offer furniture and similar large items that are difficult to ship and dining and entertainment. Peterson said that two things that traditional retailers can do and Amazon could not are delivering instant gratification and touch and feel.