Business

Amazon launches free Whole Foods delivery service for Prime members

Amazon launches free Whole Foods delivery service for Prime members

Amazon's relentless challenge to other retailers in the U.S. has stepped up another gear with the news that the e-commerce giant plans to deliver groceries from Whole Foods Market via its fast-shipping Prime Now service. Amazon says the service will be nationwide this year.

Greg Greeley, VP of Amazon Prime and delivery experience, recently told some employees he'll be spending more time at Amazon-owned Whole Foods, focusing on the two companies' integration, CNBC has learned. The bank wrote in a note to investors that 48% of people using Prime Now are ordering grocery items with it - more than they are ordering more traditional e-commerce offerings. Prime Now can be accessed through the dedicated Prime Now app or PrimeNow.com and carries household products, groceries, and electronics, among other everyday items.

Amazon's Whole Foods orders will be filled by pickers who will actually go down the aisles of stores close to a customer's location, USA Today said.

Today, the two biggest choke points for consumers when it comes to buying groceries online are cost and scheduling.

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Despite the perceived upsides of the new inventory management model, the grocery giant's workers say they're having a hard time keeping up with the demands of Amazon's frantic pace. How quickly do you expect Amazon and Whole Foods to roll out this option and what will it mean for competitors of the two companies?

Since Amazon bought Whole Foods past year, rival grocers have been working to increase delivery. AMZN also notes that select alcohols are also available for free two-hour delivery. Kroger, for its part, expanded its delivery options by test-piloting a partnership with Uber in 2017 in Dallas and Richmond.

Since the acquisition, Amazon has dropped prices of certain items at Whole Foods, while adding some Whole Foods products online.

Amazon will kick-off its purchase of Whole Foods in grand fashion.