Webvan Making a Comeback

Doomed dotcom grocery-delivery business unexpectedly revived

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
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    You may not have to make a trip to the store every week if a new venture by Amazon works out.

    Webvan lovers, there's new hope your favorite delivery guy may be making a comeback -- under different guise.

    Bloomberg.com reported Amazon is expanding its grocery service business. 

    One hitch:  This is happening in Seattle.  But, if it works, who is to say that the Bay Area wouldn't be the second area of choice for the company?

    "Amazon Fresh" began testing its business in 2007 and is now in 49 Seattle ZIP codes.   It announced Tuesday it will expand to the entire Seattle metropolitan area over the next three months.

    The name Webvan is also living on in. Amazon now owns the Webvan site and will use it to sell food items through the mail.

    Where Webvan failed, Amazon claims to know how to be successful.  They say they have learned from Webvan's mistakes and is keeping ad costs low and keeping expansion slow.

    Amazon Fresh users are able to shop for groceries and produce on the Web.   They have a choice of delivery times. Minimum orders are $30 and if you don't spend $75, you have to pay a small fee.  The company also uses temperature-controlled crates, which means food can be delivered and stay fresh even if the customer is away.