Amazon Tests Two-Hour Grocery Delivery Via Whole Foods

Whole Foods shopper

"Prime customers can shop thousands of items across fresh and organic produce, bakery, dairy, meat and seafood, floral and everyday staples from Whole Foods Market available for free two-hour delivery", according to a press release. Now, the grocery world will get a first-hand look at Amazon's strategy, with two-hour delivery available through its Prime Now service in Dallas and Austin, Texas; Virginia Beach, Virginia; and Cincinnati, Ohio. Orders must be worth at least $35.

Prime Now will offer one- and two-hour delivery of most Whole Foods products. "Together, we have already lowered prices on many items, and this offering makes Prime customers' lives even easier".

Alcohol is available for select customers and all shoppers will have their pick of thousands of items. Target, for example, bought grocery-delivery company Shipt.

There are about 60 million households in the USA that use Amazon's Prime service, and only about 22 percent of those shopped at Whole Foods in December, according to research from Cowen & Co.

Since Amazon bought Whole Foods a year ago, rival grocers have been working to increase delivery, anxious about what Amazon might do.

Prior to the delivery announcement, Amazon hadn't said much about its plans for Whole Foods, other than generating headlines with price cuts on a handful of items. "In theory, fewer products go bad sitting unpurchased on the store shelves or uneaten in your fridge". And recent stocking issues at Whole Foods prompted analysts at Barclays Plc to say earlier this week that pressure on competitors in the industry had "abated". As Scott Webb, president of Avionos points out, the new option signals how Amazon is always striving to improve the customer experience.

"The launch of Whole Foods grocery delivery via Prime means Amazon will have full control over the end-to-end customer experience". Twenty-three percent of consumers said they would purchase more groceries online if delivery times were more convenient, according to data from Walker Sands sent to Business Insider Intelligence, and one or two hours certainly fits the bill. "This gives them a big leg up over other delivery providers that often experience a disconnect between their services and the source stores", Park said.

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