Amazon launches free, one-hour grocery pickup for Prime members at all U.S. Whole Foods locations
Early this month, we wrote about Instacart after the on-demand grocery delivery startup raised $200 million in fresh funding at a $17.7 billion valuation to accelerate growth and support North America expansion. Now, the 8-year old is facing competition from an 800-pound gorilla, Amazon.
Today, Amazon announced it is launching a free, one-hour grocery pickup for Prime members at all Whole Foods at all in the United States. The demand for curbside pickup has increased exponentially during the coronavirus pandemic amid an overall rise in demand for online grocery services. However, there is a catch. To qualify for a one-hour pickup, Amazon Prime members must order food for a total of $35 or more.
In a blog post, Amazon said: “While Covid-19 accelerated the adoption of online grocery services and prompted new customers to try services like grocery pickup, it’s clear that this offering will become a more permanent solution for many customers.”
Amazon purchased Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion in June 2017. In January 2019, as part of Amazon’s effort to expand to some unreachable areas, Amazon announced to acquire some former Sears and Kmart locations from Sears Holdings which filed for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection on October 15, 2018. These vacant locations would be demolished or remodel into new Whole Foods Market locations. There are currently 487 Whole Foods stores in the U.S.
The feature presents a new perk for Prime members, who pay $119 per year for free shipping and access to other services like Prime Video and Music, as well as free Amazon Fresh grocery deliveries. Before Wednesday’s announcement, Prime members could pick up Whole Foods orders only at select stores.
Amazon started ramping up pickup options at Whole Foods stores in April at the height of the coronavirus pandemic, expanding the service to more than 150 stores, up from about 80 locations.