Amazon May Expand Free Home Delivery

Amazon.com Inc. may be planning to expand a free home-delivery program, a move that analysts say could encourage consumers to do more of their shopping for groceries and other goods with the online retailer rather than local stores.

The service, AmazonTote, is currently available only around Seattle, where the company is based. The program offers customers a free weekly delivery on a specified day and doesn’t require a minimum-order size.

The AmazonTote website said the program “will be expanding soon.” However, that notice was removed later Monday. An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment.

Such an expansion could be risky. One pioneer of online grocery shopping, Webvan Group Inc., went bankrupt in 2001 and is considered one of Silicon Valley’s biggest busts.

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