retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Re/code reports that startup e-grocery site "is taking a big swing at becoming a shopping site for the masses" by testing a new offering that will sell and deliver fresh foods - milk, fruit, meat, etc.. - to some customers in the northeastern US.

The story says that Jet "will have the groceries delivered in one to two days, depending on when they are ordered, and delivery will be free for orders of more than $35 during what Jet is calling a 'pilot test,' according to an email sent to some customers ... A Jet rep said the company is testing the service in 875 Zip Codes in total spread throughout New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C."

The test pits Jet not just against Amazon, but also against FreshDirect and Peapod, not to mention retailers that are outsourcing delivery to companies such as Instacart."
KC's View:
I think one of the things that Amazon has been smart about has been not leaping into the grocery business early - it built up a lot of credibility, and learned from fresh food purveyors in Seattle for years before it ever rolled out Amazon Fresh; it also continues to work with food retailers in various markets on its Prime Now offering, which I actually think might eventually supplant Amazon Fresh.

I can understand Jet getting into this business, but I have to wonder if it has the street cred to do so, especially without any identification of what fresh food experts it might be working with. That's not to say it won't work, but it could be tougher ... and this move could be perceived as a "hail Mary" as it burns through capital and tries to gain sufficient traction.