NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Amazon (AMZN) unveiled its brand new online grocery shopping service, known as Prime Pantry, which Amazon describes as a place to take advantage of "Low-priced essentials in everyday sizes, delivered to your home."
Amazon shares were gaining 1.65% to $329.95 in early New York trading.
Amazon Prime Pantry, which is It's only available to Amazon Prime subscribers, is designed to sell you popular household items - everything from paper towels to pasta, tomato juice to corn flakes and Coca-Cola to laundry detergent and vitamins to dog food. What's not on the list are perishables such as fresh milk, bread, meat, fish, fruits, vegetables or frozen foods, at least not yet anyway.
As Amazon seeks to grow, the phrase "in everyday sizes" plays a part. It's a dig at big warehouse stores, such as Costco (COST), where you have to buy 6 dozen rolls of toilet tissue or a few dozen frozen waffles at a time. Prime Pantry says it offers its shoppers "a wide range of products, including heavy and bulky items, all in popular pack sizes that are all cost prohibitive to ship for free."
Usually, smaller sized packages actually cost more per-serving than super-sized packages of the same food as offered in warehouse stores and discount retailers. Amazon's Prime Pantry prices could be competitive with those big box stores.
Amazon is charging $5.99 for each 45-pound shipping box - not the usual free, two-day shipping Amazon Prime subscribers are accustomed to.