Business & Real Estate

Amazon launches area delivery of Whole Foods Market products

A sign promoting the Amazon Prime Now delivery service is displayed outside a Whole Foods store Feb. 8, 2018, in Cincinnati. Amazon, which owns Whole Foods, plans to roll out two-hour delivery at the organic grocer this year to those who pay for Amazon's $99-a-year Prime membership. Amazon launched the service is in Sacramento today. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
A sign promoting the Amazon Prime Now delivery service is displayed outside a Whole Foods store Feb. 8, 2018, in Cincinnati. Amazon, which owns Whole Foods, plans to roll out two-hour delivery at the organic grocer this year to those who pay for Amazon's $99-a-year Prime membership. Amazon launched the service is in Sacramento today. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Amazon and Whole Foods Market today launched free two-hour delivery of Whole Foods Market products to Sacramento-area consumers who are members of Amazon Prime.

Delivery of orders of more than $35 can be done through Amazon’s Prime Now service.

The delivery service also is being launched today in San Diego and Denver. It previously has been launched in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beach, Va. More rollouts are coming later this year, Amazon officials said.

“We’re excited to bring the power of Amazon and Whole Foods together,” Tanvi Patel , head of business development for Prime Now at Amazon, said in a telephone interview.

Amazon officials said its Prime Now service is offered in a general area bounded by Elk Grove/Laguna to the south, Roseville to the north, West Sacramento to the west and Rancho Cordova to the east.

With the delivery service, Sacramento-area shoppers can select items that include fresh produce, meats, seafood, baked goods, dairy products and everyday staples from Whole Foods Market stores. Customers who are Prime members can shop at www.primenow.com or by using the Prime Now app available on Android and iOS devices.

Amazon said alcohol selections also are available for local delivery to customers, and Prime members can opt for ultra-fast delivery within one hour for $7.99 on orders of $35 or more. Delivery is available daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Amazon Prime is the Seattle-based company’s paid subscription service that provides access to free two-day delivery on an enormous number of items. It has an annual fee of $99. Prime Now is available to Prime members at no extra cost.

Prime Now was launched in the Sacramento area in October 2015.

Amazon.com announced in June last year that it planned to acquire Whole Foods Market in a deal valued at nearly $14 billion. The announcement sent shock waves through Wall Street and among large U.S. grocery chains, which cited Amazon’s already extensive online ordering and home-delivery infrastructure.

Amazon’s wide-ranging reach has significantly impacted general retail operations in the United States, with long-standing retailers closing brick-and-mortar stores and emphasizing online operations in an effort to compete. Recent major closures include Sears, Kmart and Toys R Us stores.

Meanwhile, grocery delivery services have expanded throughout Northern California over the past year.

That includes the eCart e-commerce program offered by West Sacramento-based Raley’s, which expanded delivery in the greater Sacramento region in November and ramped up the service in Reno in December. In all, 51 of the grocer's stores offer delivery.

Also in 2017, two San Francisco companies began delivering groceries customized to the needs of Sacramento-area customers. Instacart launched its internet-based grocery-delivery service in March. In May, it teamed with personalized nutrition service provider PlateJoy to offer same-day delivery of groceries tailored to individual nutrition requests.

Whole Foods Market, known for its selection of natural and organic foods, has nearly 500 stores in the United States, Canada and United Kingdom. There are three Whole Foods Market stores in the Sacramento area: 4315 Arden Way in Sacramento, 1001 Galleria Blvd. in Roseville and 270 Palladio Parkway in Folsom.

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