A new perk is coming to Whole Foods for Amazon Prime members: grocery pickup. Amazon announced today that it will roll out a new grocery pickup service at Whole Foods locations, starting with stores in Sacramento and Virginia Beach. Prime members can order groceries at Whole Foods through the Prime Now app or website and choose to pick them up at their nearest Whole Foods location that same day.
Customers can order produce, baked goods, dairy products, meat, seafood, flowers, and other everyday items for pickup. Customers choose the pickup option at checkout before placing their order. They can even use the Prime Now app to alert the store when they are heading over, so employees can have their groceries ready to load into their cars when they arrive. Orders of $35 or more can be filled in as little as an hour, or customers can pay an extra $4.99 for the 30-minute pickup option.
Grocery pickup is a service available exclusively to Prime members, like many other perks Amazon has instituted over the past few years. When the retailer bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion last year, it promised a slew of discounts, savings, and benefits for Prime members. Currently, Prime members receive 10 percent off sale items at Whole Foods in addition to special deals on specific items, as well as 5 percent cash back for Amazon Prime Rewards Visa cardholders and two-hour delivery with Prime Now.
Curbside pickup is another benefit that may justify the rising cost of a Prime membership for some. Amazon recently increased the annual cost of a Prime membership from $99 to $119, causing some to reevaluate their need for the service. Amazon has bumped up the price of Prime in the past, but even with those changes, Amazon Prime has amassed 100 million members.
While some customers are willing to pay for delivery, and even same-day delivery, others find it easier to pick up their groceries when they’re on their way home from work or out running errands already. Amazon wants to target those customers and better compete with Walmart in the process. Walmart has been rolling out a curbside pickup program in its stores across the country for the past couple of years. Currently, the service is available at 1,800 Walmart stores, so Amazon has some catching up to do.
Amazon plans to bring curbside pickup to Whole Foods locations in more cities throughout the rest of the year.