Amazon unit offers one-hour delivery within eight Tokyo wards

JIJI

Amazon Japan K.K. said Thursday it has started a service to deliver goods within an hour in central Tokyo.

The service area initially comprises eight wards, including Setagaya, and will be expanded in steps, the Internet-based retailer said.

The service is for Amazon Prime members, who enjoy various benefits for a flat annual membership fee of ¥3,900. Postage charges are ¥890. Members who spend at least ¥2,500 on goods at one time may avail themselves of the service, which covers about 18,000 items, including food, pet goods, books and peripheral devices for personal computers.

The members can order products with a dedicated application on their smartphones between 6 a.m. and 11:59 p.m. and receive the ordered goods until 1 a.m.

In August, Amazon’s rival Rakuten Inc. started a service in which it delivers goods within four Tokyo wards, including Minato, in as little as 20 minutes. The delivery fee is ¥390 when the customer receives the ordered item from a delivery vehicle at a specified location, while doorstep delivery costs ¥770.