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Seattle Times: Is Amazon.com ready to take fresh produce service national?

SEATTLE — A report published Monday in The Seattle Times queried whether Amazon.com was ready to take its own Internet-driven fresh offering, called AmazonFresh, out of "limited-test" mode to pilot mode or even full-out launch mode this year. 

The report noted that Amazon had initially launched the service in 2007 and now services 80 area codes. 

And though many analysts are skeptical that Amazon had yet to figure out how to profitably deliver produce to a customer's doorstep, Seattle Times business reporter Amy Martinez identified two changes between then and now that "could lay the groundwork" for a national launch. First, Amazon has negotiated the collection of sales taxes across several states, which means the company can now lay down roots in those states where before it wouldn't. And Amazon has two new distribution centers located outside two major urban hubs — New York and San Francisco. 

"While an expanded distribution network could lay the groundwork for Fresh to go national in 2013, it remains to be seen whether [Amazon's] lime green trucks head elsewhere anytime soon," Martinez wrote. 


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