Amazon Delivers One-Hour Prime Now Service to Seattle

SEATTLE (The Seattle Times/TNS) -

Seattle is the newest market in which Amazon.com is rolling out its one-hour delivery service, Prime Now.

The company has launched the new offering to neighborhoods in Seattle and the Seattle-area cities of Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland. It’s available only to subscribers of Amazon’s $99-a-year Prime service.

The Seattle service will be the first in the United States that offers liquor delivery. Amazon has offered beer, wine and spirits delivery at its Prime Now service in London since its launch in June.

Customers interested in the service need to use the Prime Now mobile app, available on iOS and Android (but not Windows Phone) devices.

Prime subscribers won’t need to pay additional fees for two-hour delivery in Seattle, as long as the order is more than $20. (In other U.S. cities, the minimum order is $15. Amazon said it is experimenting with the higher price in Seattle.) One-hour delivery will cost $7.99.

The selection of products is significantly smaller than what’s available for customers who can wait a little longer. Stephenie Landry, director of Prime Now Worldwide, said the service will offer about 25,000 products. She said the orders are for “everyday essentials,” the kind of items customers often get on quick runs to the stores, such as milk, crayons, light bulbs, and even bicycle tire inner tubes.

Amazon will ship the products from two hubs, one in Seattle, the other in Kirkland. It will use a mix of Amazon employees and contractors to deliver orders. Deliveries will be made primarily by vehicles, though Amazon plans to offer bicycle and foot delivery, too.

Amazon debuted Prime Now last December in Manhattan. It has since expanded to Miami, Baltimore, Atlanta, Austin, Texas, Dallas, Chicago and Indianapolis in the United States, and London and Birmingham in the United Kingdom.

In May, the company filed plans with the city of Seattle to build a downtown distribution hub for Prime Now.