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Amazon offering monthly subscription to Prime service, installs lockers in Staples

November 06, 2012|By Shan Li
  • Amazon is offering a monthly subscription to Amazon Prime, and opening lockers in Staples stores.
Amazon is offering a monthly subscription to Amazon Prime, and opening… (Brian Snyder / Reuters )

Online retail giant Amazon.com is offering a monthly subscription to its popular Amazon Prime service which includes free two-day shipping, access to e-books and instant streaming of movies and TV shows.

Amazon Prime, which costs $79 for one year, will charge $7.99 per month for the same perks, according to the company website. That comes out to $95.88 a year on a month-to-month basis.

The monthly subscription comes as brick-and-mortar retailers are furiously battling with Amazon for shoppers this holiday season and rolling out all kinds of promotions such as price matching and free layaway.

Analysts say the option could entice shoppers who don't want to be locked into Amazon Prime for an entire year to sign up during the holiday months for free shipping.

The Seattle retailer lost a crucial advantage in California when it started collecting sales tax earlier this year and is now scrambling to improve its efficiency to hold onto shoppers. Last month, the company opened a San Bernardino fulfillment center, the first of two planned in California.

Staples said Monday that it will also have so-called "Amazon Lockers" installed in its U.S. stores, which allow online shoppers to have packages sent to a secure location instead of being dropped on their doorstep for anybody to pick up.

Amazon has been installing the lockers in convenience, groceries and other retailers around the country.

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Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi

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