Amazon is reportedly planning to build lots of new Whole Foods stores across the U.S., partly as a route to expanding Prime Now, the company’s free delivery service for Prime members that gets orders to customers within two hours.
Following its acquisition of the Whole Foods grocery business for $13.7 billion in 2017, Amazon is reported to be choosing the new locations carefully so that the new sites put more people within reach of Prime Now, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
Sources told the Journal that the plan is to link Prime Now with almost all of Whole Foods’ existing stores — there are currently 475 of them — as well as the new stores. Expanding Whole Foods’ 30-minute curbside grocery pick-up service is also believed to be part of Amazon’s strategy moving forward.
Precise locations for the new Whole Foods stores haven’t been confirmed, but those claiming to have knowledge of the plans suggest relevant parties have been exploring sites in Wyoming, Utah, and Idaho, as well as locations in other parts of the country.
The new stores could cover floorspace of around 45,000 square feet on average, making them slightly larger than most current Whole Foods sites, the report said, with the extra space used for the Prime Now order fulfillment and delivery operation.
Some Whole Foods stores already offer customers the chance to “skip the lines, skip the traffic, and get your Whole Foods Market favorites delivered with Prime Now,” with fast delivery on a wide range of items that includes everything from fresh meat and seafood to household staples and locally sourced products.
Amazon has also started to expand Prime Now to more of its Whole Foods stores, with a major enlargement of the delivery service coming just a couple of months ago. At the current time, Prime subscribers in 48 cities across the country can take advantage of speedy delivery from Whole Foods, and, in some cases, curbside grocery pick-up, too.
Prime Now delivery from Whole Foods is available every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. It’s easy to find out if the service is available in your area — simply visit the Prime Now website or app and enter your zip code.
Amazon charges $119 a year for Prime, which besides speedy shipping on a huge range of items also includes access to movies, TV shows, music, and ebooks.