Amazon.com Inc., already a global retail behemoth, might also become your grocery store.
The company will begin delivering groceries in Boston and the United Kingdom this year, according to ReCode, a media outlet that focuses on the business of Silicon Valley.
The service, known as AmazonFresh, lets customers order fresh milk, meat or fish, and groceries for delivery within 24 hours, with one significant catch: the service comes with a $299 annual Prime Fresh membership, $200 for people who are already Amazon Prime members, ReCode reported Monday. It is available in parts of Washington, California, New Jersey, New York and Philadelphia.
Amazon.com did not return phone calls requesting comment, but the company recently built a 1.2 million square foot warehouse and fulfillment center in Fall River. It also leased 96,600 square foot refrigerated space in Everett last year that is situated among regional grocery and food distributors.
Keith Anderson, vice president at Profitero, an e-commerce consulting startup with offices on Newbury Street, said Amazon warehouses of more than a million square feet typically offer refrigeration.
"Larger fulfillment centers are a reasonable indication that AmazonFresh is in the works," he said.
Anderson said the Boston area is also an attractive territory to add a grocery service because the region is dense and full of high-income, tech-savy consumers. Those factors make the significant costs associated with starting a grocery service worthwhile.
The service has been rolled out slowly since 2007 and Amazon chief financial officer Brian T. Olsavsky hinted at the company's continued interest in the grocery market during the company's April 28 first quarter earnings call.
"We continue to have a strong Fresh business in a number of cities in the U.S. We know customers love it," Olsavsky said in response to a question about AmazonFresh. "We're playing with a lot of different models to see what resonates with consumers and it'll guide our investment decisions going forward."