Free Whole Foods delivery beings for Virginia Beach Amazon Prime members

Free Whole Foods delivery beings for Virginia Beach Amazon Prime members

"We're happy to bring our customers the convenience of free two-hour delivery through Prime Now and access to thousands of natural and organic groceries and locally sourced favorites", says John Mackey, co-founder, and CEO of Whole Foods Market.

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.

But it also raises a number of questions about the logistics of such an endeavor and what it could mean for our roadways, neighborhoods, and labor system. Amazon does not mention just what types "select alcohol" are covered.

Amazon shook up the industry with its $13.7bn acquisition of Whole Foods past year, prompting traditional supermarkets to look for ways to profitably deliver fresh food and shelf-stable pantry items. Amazon Prime Now currently has about 50 distribution centers it uses to ship orders to its urban customers.

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While the option is now available in just four markets, Amazon says that it plans to expand it nationwide this year. However if a customer wants to have the purchased items to be delivered in one hour then an additional fee of $7.99 dollars will be charged and also the delivery will only be possible if the items bought are worth $35 or more.

Greeley will primarily focus on making Amazon Prime a major part of Whole Foods' customer rewards program.

Whole Foods' house brands, including 365 Everyday Value, were added to Amazon's retail site and the Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service. Daily delivery is available from 8 a.m.to 10 p.m. An employee will pick the products for a customer's order and pack them in a way that maintains their freshness. Combining Whole Foods' nationwide grocery footprint and selection with Prime Now's delivery logistics to provide free, two-hour delivery could prove a formidable combination. Up until now, Whole Foods has been an important source of business; in 2016, Instacart signed a five-year deal to become the chain's exclusive delivery service for perishables.

And there remain barriers to Amazon's plan. The trial is starting in Austin, Texas; Cincinnati; Dallas; and Virginia Beach, Virginia. The risks I see include: delivering consistent, high quality fresh product, held at the right-variable- temperatures, on time and affordably, without incident. "It may always be a concierge-level service, but scale will remain elusive, in my view".

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