In April 2014, Amazon began a service for shipping non-perishable grocery store items into a single box for delivery for a flat fee. The service is available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, India, Japan, Italy, Spain, and France. This is an Amazon Prime member exclusive service that helps prime subscribers purchase household goods and get them delivered super-fast. At a flat rate of $6, Amazon Prime members can enjoy shipping a box of "pantries" to their homes. As you shop, Amazon quantifies the space each item takes up so that you can assess the number of boxes you need before check off and shipping.
On January 24, 2016, Amazon launched a new subscription program aimed at parents called STEM Club, which delivers educational toys to your home for $19.99 per month. And by "STEM", toys will be hand-picked and focused on the area of science, technology, engineering and math. The toys will range from robotics to natural sciences and will include items exclusive to Amazon. STEM toy subscription club is only available in the United States.
As the foundation upon which the Amazon empire was built, there are a lot of perks you can get for books and reading with Prime. With Prime, you can borrow a plethora of magazines, books and other reading materials from the Kindle Owner's Lending Library. So if you've got a Kindle or mobile device handy, you have access to all these books and more. But if you don't have an actual Kindle handy in your home, Prime Reading allows you to borrow books, magazines and more and read them on other devices or through the Kindle app.
Indeed, Amazon casts a long shadow over a number of industries. Grocery stocks plunged when the company acquired Whole Foods Market last year. Walgreens (NASDAQ:WBA) and CVS Health (NYSE:CVS) fell when the company acquired PillPack this summer, and an eventual entry by Amazon into the pharmacy space still hangs over the sector. The 2016 launch of Amazon Prints sent Shutterfly (NASDAQ:SFLY) down 12%.
In March 2014, Amazon announced an increase in the annual membership fee for Amazon Prime, from $79 to $99. Shortly after this change, Amazon announced Prime Music, a service in which members can get unlimited, ad-free streaming of over a million songs and access to curated playlists. In November 2014, Amazon added Prime Photos, which allows unlimited photo storage in the users' Amazon Drive (though only some raw photo files count as photos). Amazon also began offering free same-day delivery to Prime members in 14 United States metropolitan areas in May 2015.