Amazon will introduce, two-hour delivery from Whole Foods stores to its Prime members in neighbourhoods of Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beach, Virginia beginning today.
Acording to Stephenie Landry, vice president of Prime Now, Amazon Fresh and Amazon Restaurants, Amazon Prime customers in the cities will be able to order fresh produce, meat, seafood, flowers and most, but not all, items stocked by their local Whole Foods stores.
''We might not have every last item that could be available in your local store but we're going to have the vast majority of them,'' she said, USA Today reported.
Prime members in the cities can access their accounts on the Amazon website or via its Prime Now app, which features two-hour delivery items, and type in their ZIP code to check the availability of the service where they live.
The announcement comes as the latest in Amazon's integration of the Whole Foods Market chain of high end organic supermarkets, which it acquired in June for $13.7 billion. With the purchase, it instantly became the fifth-largest grocery retailer in the country, according to analysts at Cowen. Walmart is No 1, followed by Kroger, Costco and Albertsons.
Following the closure of the deal, Amazon lowered prices of some items at the 457 Whole Foods stores in the US.
Bloomberg reported last year that Whole Foods, an Instacart investor, had signed an exclusive delivery deal with Instacart, which will remain in force for the next three years. Instacart, which announced deals with Albertsons and QFC in recent months, would continue to offer its service from Whole Foods stores.
''When Amazon bought Whole Foods, what they did was they sent the signal to the entire grocery/retail landscape that Amazon was coming,'' Instacart CEO Apoorva Mehta said at the GeekWire Summit in October.
''Now, for every single grocery retailer at this point in time, whether they believed it or not before, now they needed an e-commerce strategy. They needed to have same day delivery. The reality was, for the last five years, that's what we have done. We have brought hundreds of grocery retailers online, and so we had the track record of being able to do this successfully.''