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Amazon branches out into groceries

Online retailer Amazon has launched a new service that means customers can do their grocery shopping through its website.

Named Prime Pantry, the service allows members of the company's Prime loyalty scheme to fill a 20kg box and have it delivered.

The service has been designed to enable more convenient delivery of bulk items, but will not deal in fresh food.

The service is currently only available to customers in the US.

A flat delivery rate of $5.99 (£3.56) applies, and the announcement comes alongside the launch of another new product called Dash, a barcode scanning device that enables users to create a shopping list online of items that are running low in their cupboards.

Dash currently only works with Amazon Fresh, another delivery service that sells electronics and other home goods as well as food.

Fresh is currently only available in San Francisco, southern California and some areas of Seattle, but could be rolled out globally.

The US company has been taking steps to expand its service options in recent months in order to compete with fellow technology giants like Apple and Google.

Earlier this month the Seattle-based firm launched its own TV set-top box that will enable users to stream video to their TV from the internet. Services like the popular movie streaming service Netflix have already signed up to appear on the platform, which is also a games console.

In the firm's ­quarterly figures, announced ­yesterday, ­revenue was up by more than 20% compared to the same ­quarter of 2013, at more than $19 billion (£11.3bn).

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