Amazon customers with a Prime membership in Cincinnati, Virginia Beach, Austin and Dallas will this week become eligible to have Whole Foods products delivered for free in two hours. The new service known as Whole Foods Prime Now will initially be available in the selected cities and gradually roll out across the country during the year.
Shoppers with an Amazon Prime subscription will be able to buy a variety of products depending on availability. The company said that it will endeavor to provide the majority of items that one could find from their local store. The items in the Whole Foods range include meat, fresh produce, fresh flowers and dairy products.
With the subscription, customers are able to buy these items via Prime Now or at Amazon.com. It will take the company two hours to deliver the purchased items to the customer with another option to have them delivered in one hour at an extra cost of $7.99. However, eligibility for the one hour delivery is on orders above $35.
When customers place orders via Prime Now or at Amazon, workers pick up the items and package them ready for shipment at a Whole Foods store that’s in close proximity with the service operating during normal store hours of between 8 a.m. and 10 p.m.
The orders are then picked up by drivers from the Amazon Flex delivery service who are supposed to drop off the items in two hours. These drivers work on contract, much like Uber, whereby they drive their own vehicles using Amazon’s routing app to deliver goods for Amazon Fresh, Amazon Restaurants, Amazon itself and Prime Now.