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Bezos offers update on groceries, drones

CEO Jeff Bezos says staff are urged to think about what they really want.

NEW YORK — Chief executive Jeff Bezos’s annual letter to shareholders offers a glimpse into Amazon.com Inc.’s internal workings and what it is aiming for, including more grocery services and drone-based deliveries.

Bezos took note of Prime Fresh, offered in Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. For $299 a year, members get same-day and early morning delivery of groceries and other items. Bezos said the goal is to expand it to more cities.

The company’s Prime Air team is testing unmanned aircraft to deliver packages, but it will take years to advance the technology and for the Federal Aviation Administration to adopt the necessary rules.


Bezos said Amazon offers employees money to leave the company. Under Pay to Quit, once a year the company offers $2,000 to quit, adding $1,000 a year, up to a maximum of $5,000.

‘‘The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want,’’ Bezos said. ‘‘In the long run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company.’’

Amazon.com has long focused on spending money to add business and expand. Investors have largely forgiven thin profit margins and zeroed in on solid revenue growth and long-term prospects. In its most recent quarter, Amazon said net income and revenue both grew but results fell short of expectations. The stock is down 17 percent this year.