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The Information reports on Amazon's new deal with Rite Aid as positioning the company to pose a new threat to Instacart.

Here's how it frames the story:

"Amazon is mounting a challenge to Instacart through a new partnership with Rite Aid offering same-day deliveries of health, cosmetics and grocery items to Prime members in two U.S. markets.

"The company plans to test the service in Newark, NJ and Burbank, Calif., allowing Prime members to order deliveries within two-hour windows through a dedicated Rite Aid page on Amazon’s website and app. Prescription drugs are not available through the service. The partnership marks a push by Amazon onto the territory of Instacart, which has offered speedy deliveries from Rite Aid and other pharmacies for several years.

"Amazon is charging a $6.95 fee on Rite Aid deliveries under $40; $4.95 for deliveries between $40 and $75; and $2.95 for orders between $75 and $100. Orders above $100 come with free delivery. Instacart pricing, meanwhile, starts at $3.99 for same-day orders over $35 but can vary significantly."

KC's View:

First of all, the folks at Instacart must chuckle a bit when they see that take on the story.  A sizeable percentage of Instacart's growth has come because retailers have seen it as a viable and facile way to compete with Amazon.

Second, Amazon long has offered delivery services to other retailers, so that part of it isn't new.  The terms and the segment may be different, but that's been part of Amazon's portfolio of services for as long as I can remember.

It does make me continue to think, however, that Amazon - at a time when it is looking to maximize revenue and limit expenses - may be seeing the future more in terms of the licensing of its products and services, as opposed to being an independent provider of those things.  I may be over-reacting to the moment, but current events are creating at least the vague feeling that this shift may be coming.