The deal sent tremors through the grocery business as analysts predicted Amazon's weight with suppliers could force down already thin grocery margins and accelerate a move to near-instant ordering and delivery. Amazon placed Lockers, secure delivery points for packages, in nearly 400 Whole Foods stores.
But Wednesday's announcement is the biggest step toward what many analysts expected Amazon to do with its new grocer: use Whole Foods and its inventory of groceries as an extension of its warehousing network. Amazon has plans to expand its Whole Foods delivery service across the US later this year. Prices of certain items, including vine tomatoes, dropped slightly following the Amazon acquisition, and Echo smart speakers were added to in-store stock.
Prime Now will also deliver from other grocery stores and restaurants in the markets where it operates.
So how does the new service work? First, it should be noted that there's been some confusion over pricing.
"We've launched Whole Foods products on our Amazon website, and the technical work continues to make Prime the Whole Foods customer rewards program and we expect to have more on that later in the year", Olsavsky said.
The total value of your order must be worth £25 ($35) or more, Amazon said. Food Dive has reached out to Amazon for clarification. Instacart brought hundreds of grocery retailers online, and they have managed to do it successfully.
The catch is you have to pay for Amazon's $99-a-year Prime membership to get your favorite hummus, kombucha or pre-peeled oranges to your door. However, the Amazon Prime members will have to make sure that they make their orders between 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, Amazon plans to expand the service to other markets, but it's unclear how long the expansion will take.
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