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Nieman Journalism Lab
Pushing to the future of journalism — A project of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard

Reuters’ Alistair Barr reports that Amazon is planning to get into the grocery business:

The company has been testing AmazonFresh in its hometown of Seattle for at least five years, delivering fresh produce such as eggs, strawberries and meat with its own fleet of trucks.

Amazon is now planning to expand its grocery business outside Seattle for the first time, starting with Los Angeles as early as this week and the San Francisco Bay Area later this year, according to the two people who were not authorized to speak publicly…

Bill Bishop, a prominent supermarket analyst and consultant, said the company was targeting as many as 40 markets, without divulging how he knew of Amazon’s plans.

Why does this matter to news? As Ken Doctor wrote in these pages last summer, Amazon’s invasion of local retail will only put more pressure on media that relies on local businesses for advertising dollars — most notably, newspapers.

Those grocery-store inserts you get in your Sunday paper (if you get a Sunday paper, that is) are very important to your local daily’s bottom line, and they’ve been one of the few relative bright spots in recent years. It seems unlikely Amazon would approach advertising the same way Kroger does.

— Joshua Benton
                                   
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  • http://newsdex.net/taylor/ Chuck Taylor

    After five years of selling groceries in Seattle, I don’t think Amazon has really moved the needle much. (Perhaps that’s by design in this single-market experiment.) I can’t think of anybody who buys from them. Safeway, QFC (Kroger), Whole Foods and everyone else seem to be doing fine here, and I know of no impact on insert advertising.