Amazon today is rolling out Prime Now curbside pick-up to its Tampa Bay Whole Foods Markets, in a move that positions the online retailer to be even more of a direct competitor with Walmart.
Walmart, the country’s leading grocer, already launched curbside pick-up in the Tampa market in March. Walmart offers delivery, too. Amazon now has mirror offerings, but with the organic foods and produce for which Whole Foods is known. Amazon had already started delivering Whole Foods groceries to Prime members locally at the end of September.
"We’re thrilled to also offer the option of grocery pickup," Whole Foods executive vice president of operations Christina Minardi said in a statement. "It’s just another way we’re making it even easier for more customers to enjoy Whole Foods Market’s healthy and organic food."
Prime members are required to pay an annual membership fee — usually $119 — that allows them access to faster and, often, free shipping. Now, that membership includes fee-free grocery deliveries and pick-ups for orders of $35 or more.
Shoppers can set up curbside delivery from the same Prime Now app and website used to order delivery. Orders will be prepared in as little as an hour, unless the user opts for a $4.99 rush fee to have the order completed in under a half hour.
Shoppers will pull up to a designated pick-up area at Whole Foods, where an Amazon Prime employee will bring the groceries out to their car.
Curbside pick-up is also being expanded today to Jacksonville, West Palm Beach, Boise, San Diego and Las Vegas.
In total, 63 cities have Amazon and Whole Foods’ grocery delivery options and 14 have curbside pickup. Amazon purchased Whole Foods last year for more than $13 billion.
Target, which offers grocery delivery through Shipt, has curbside pick-up only for general merchandise and non-perishables.
Publix offers grocery delivery through Instacart, and has 14 stores currently offering pick-up, including at the Shoppes at New Tampa and the Shoppes of Lithia.
Amazon said it will continue to expand its delivery and pick-up options. There are three Whole Foods in Tampa Bay: one in Clearwater, one at I-275 and N Dale Mabry Highway and one in Tampa’s Carrollwood area.
Contact Sara DiNatale at [email protected] Follow @sara_dinatale.