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The Seattle Times reports that AmazonFresh, which has been free to Seattle residents since it began as a test in 2007, next year will carry an annual membership fee of $299 there - the same as in other markets where it operates. However, it also "has lowered the minimum amount Fresh customers need to purchase to get free delivery from $100 to $50."

According to the story, "Amazon is calling the new $299-a-year subscription Prime Fresh. That membership also includes Prime benefits, such as free two-day shipping on goods from Amazon’s retail website, as well as access to its Netflix-like Prime Instant Video service.

"And Prime Fresh subscribers can also receive Amazon Dash, a wandlike device that lets customers scan bar codes in their homes to add products to their shopping carts. They can also speak into the device’s microphone to add items as well."

In addition to Seattle, AmazonFresh is offered in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and sections of New York City.
KC's View:
Clearly, Amazon has decided that the business it will lose from Fresh defections in Seattle will be compensated for by the money it will bring in.

I've always thought that $299 was too high … $199 seemed like a better number to me … but it appears that Amazon plans to stick with that number for the foreseeable future. Maybe they're not getting the blowback I would've expected.

I'll say this. If the service is great and the products are great, then $299 a year won't seem so expensive. But at those prices, Amazon better deliver on its value proposition.