Amazon launches takeout food service

Amazon (NYSE:AMZN) is now in the takeout food business. As part of the company's Amazon Local program, the Seattle-based e-commerce site will start delivering takeout food in its hometown.

Amazon's recent dive into local efforts includes plans to connect businesses and consumers who need services—reminiscent of Angie's List and Craig's List. Amazon Local offers consumers coupons, discounts and deals, similar to Groupon, from merchants in their neighborhood.

Five years ago, also under the local umbrella, the company launched Amazon Fresh, a grocery delivery service now in three markets. The services industry is a fairly new area for Amazon, which in the past primarily concentrated on selling products. Historically, profit gains in this sector have proved difficult because providing local services means offers must be tailored to the specific needs of a city or region.

In anticipation of these growing efforts, Amazon announced last year that it is developing a futuristic drone-based delivery service, which will deploy airborne robotic drones (with government approval of course) to deliver packages to consumers in 30 minutes or less.

If Amazon's takeout delivery venture succeeds, it would put the online retailer in direct competition with food delivery services GrubHub and DeliveryHero.

As with other programs, Amazon plans to eventually implement the takeout service globally.

For more:
-See this TechCrunch story
-See this Zacks story

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