Amazon to deliver Whole Foods groceries to Prime members

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Amazon said on Thursday it would start delivering Whole Foods groceries via its fast-shipping Prime Now service in select US cities, and plans to expand it across the country this year.

The online retailing behemoth will add Whole Foods to its one-hour and two-hour delivery service in Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beach, it said in a statement.

Amazon Prime members will receive two-hour delivery for free and one-hour delivery for $7.99 (£5.76) on orders of $35 or more, the company said.

Amazon shook up the industry with its $13.7bn acquisition of Whole Foods last year, prompting traditional supermarkets to look for ways to profitably deliver fresh food and shelf-stable pantry items.

In recent months, the world’s largest retailer Walmart, healthy food supermarket chain Sprouts Farmers Market and the largest traditional supermarket operator, Kroger, have bolstered their delivery offerings in the United States.

Last month, Amazon raised the monthly fee for Amazon Prime by $2, the first increase of Prime fees in almost four years.

Some five billion items shipped through the service over the course of 2017, boosting Amazon’s profits up to nearly $2bn in the last quarter of 2017.

In addition to Prime, Amazon has invested heavily in its cloud computing arm. That yielded strong results, with Amazon Web Service seeing its sales grow to $5.1bn, a gain of 44 per cent compared the fourth quarter of 2016

Reuters