(Aug. 9) One of the largest e-commerce companies in the U.S., Seattle-based Amazon.com Inc., is dipping its toe back into home grocery delivery.

The pilot test of Amazon Fresh and its Web site, www.fresh.amazon.com, launched in early August in Mercer Island, a Seattle suburb. The invitation-only service offers “thousands” of fresh, frozen and shelf-stable grocery items, from “farm-fresh produce and meat” to milk and eggs, “accessible in a fraction of the time it would take to go to the store and shop,” according to the Web site.

Amazon.com spokesman Chris Berman declined to say how many stock-keeping units the company plans to have.

“We have everything from the standard-bearers of lettuce, carrots and onions to a pretty substantial organic selection right now,” he said. “It’s pretty much what you can find in a grocery store.”

Berman said the company is doing a mix of buying from local farmers, wholesalers and produce distributors.

The company has its own refrigerated warehouse in the area, along with 12 refrigerated delivery trucks, he said.

This isn’t the first time Amazon has been involved in grocery home delivery. According to an article in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, the company invested $42.5 million in Kirkland, Wash.-based HomeGrocer.com, which was eventually sold to Webvan.com.

Webvan.com went bankrupt in 2001 after losing more than $690 million. It had distribution centers in Dallas; Atlanta; Chicago; Los Angeles; Orange County, Calif.; Portland, Ore.; Sacramento, Calif.; San Diego; San Francisco; and Seattle.

Several companies survived the demise of Webvan and other dot-com busts. Skokie, Ill.-based Peapod Inc., New York-based FreshDirect and New York-based Mywebgrocer.com, which helps traditional retailers implement online ordering and delivery, are a few.