Essay about Amazon Fresh

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REV: AUGUST 15, 2014

RORY MCDONALD
CLAYTON CHRISTENSEN
ROBIN YANG
TY HOLLINGSWORTH

AmazonFresh: Rekindling the Online Grocery Market
We believe that a fundamental measure of our success will be the shareholder value we create over the long term. . . . We will make bold rather than timid investment decisions where we see a sufficient probability of gaining market leadership advantages. Some of these investments will pay off, others will not, and we will have learned another valuable lesson in either case.
— Jeff Bezos, 1997 Letter to Shareholders
As Fishmonger Ryan Reese skillfully filleted a fresh rainbow trout at Seattle’s Pike Place Market one morning in late
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grocery sales were transacted online.)3 Furthermore, customers shopped for groceries frequently and the category was more downturn-resistant than most. Even so, when Amazon announced its intention to launch AmazonFresh, skepticism reigned. Critics questioned whether a shift to online purchases would ever happen in the grocery sector. Others asked whether Amazon could operate profitably in a notoriously low-margin business. Perhaps for these reasons, AmazonFresh had taken an uncharacteristically cautious approach; to date, it only operated in Seattle. Meanwhile, both

Professors Rory McDonald and Clayton Christensen, Robin Yang (MBA 2014), and Ty Hollingsworth (MBA 2014) prepared this case. This case was developed from published sources. Funding for the development of this case was provided by Harvard Business School and not by the company. HBS cases are developed solely as the basis for class discussion. Cases are not intended to serve as endorsements, sources of primary data, or illustrations of effective or ineffective management.
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