Amazon launches curbside pick-ups for Prime members at Whole Foods with groceries ready within 30 minutes for a $4.99 fee
Amazon Prime members will be offered curbside pick-up at Whole Foods stores in the latest bid by the retail giant to entice more people to join its paid for subscription service.
Shoppers will have to pay $4.99 for their groceries to be ready in half an hour or nothing if their order costs more than $35 and they are happy to wait within the hour.
The service, which includes parking spaces for customers, will launch immediately in Sacramento, California and Virginia Beach, Virginia before more cities are added throughout the year.
Whole Foods shoppers will have to pay $4.99 for their groceries to be ready in half an hour or nothing if their order costs more than $35 and they are happy to wait within the hour
Orders are placed through the Prime smartphone app, which then allows the customer to choose whether to pick up the goods in half an hour or longer between 8am and 10pm.
Goods can also be added to the Whole Foods cart using an Alexa. Amazon bought the chain for $13.7 billion in June last year.
‘Pickup from Whole Foods Market is a perfect option for customers who want to grab healthy and organic groceries at their convenience, all without leaving their car,’ said Stephenie Landry, Vice President of Prime Now.
Amazon has been trying to convince consumers of the value of the Prime service after hiking annual fees from $100 to $119 in April.
Amazon has been trying to convince consumers of the value of the Prime service after hiking annual fees from $100 to $119 in April. They also want to boost sales in Whole Foods by offering Prime-related offers (pictured, a Prime deal sign at a store in June)
Its curbside pick-up service is playing catch-up with rivals including Walmart, Kroger and Target.
Walmart, the nation’s largest grocer, already offers the service to 1,800 of its stores, and plans to roll it out to up to 2,200 by the end of 2018.
Amazon Prime now has more than 100 million members, founder Jeff Bezos revealed in April – the first time his company had given a figure.
Prime serves as a ‘competitive moat’ that makes it more difficult for other retailers, online and offline, to get people to shop at their stores instead of Amazon, Daniel Ives of GBH Insights said in April.
Prime members typically spend twice as much at Amazon than non-Prime members, and have access to the site’s video streaming service.
Amazon shares closed Wednesday at 1,887 USD, 1.29 percent up on the previous day’s trading
Before the deal, the chain was under intense pressure from shareholders to improve its financial results and figure out how to stop customers from going to lower-priced supermarkets to buy natural foods.
Whole Foods is only a minor participant in the US grocery sector, accounting for just 2% market share.
Amazon wants to leverage Prime to spur more sales at Whole Foods, and already offers two-hour delivery of groceries to subscribers.