Business

Whole Foods will now get your groceries ready for pickup in one hour

An independent contractor wearing a protective mask and gloves loads Amazon Prime grocery bags into a car outside a Whole Foods Market in Berkeley, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. With millions of Americans still sheltering in place and cooking their own meals, the grocery industry has been one of the few bright spots in an otherwise battered U.S. economy. Unless, that is, you are Whole Foods Market, the upscale chain acquired three years ago by Amazon.com Inc. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

(CNN) — Amazon is expanding one-hour grocery pickup across all of its nearly 500 Whole Foods stores in the United States.

The free service is available for Prime subscribers on orders $35 or more and begins WednesdayCustomers that spend less than the minimum can get one-hour pickup for $1.99. Previously, this service was only available at select Whole Foods locations.

Amazon, which bought the upscale grocery chain for $13.7 billion three years ago, keeps adding perks for Prime subscribers. For example, they get an extra 10% off sale items, Prime-specific deals and free delivery on orders.

Picking up groceries has become popular in the pandemic because shoppers want to limit their time inside stores. It can also be faster for customers than waiting for home delivery, and there are no delivery fees.

Whole Foods said in a release that the new pickup perk is the result of more people using its curbside pickup option. Roughly 40% of pickup orders are from customers trying the service for the first time.

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Walmart, which offers free grocery pickup for orders above $35 at more than 3,500 of its stores, recently said that customers add more items to their baskets when they order for pickup than they do when buying in person. For Kroger, pickup, not home delivery, made up the bulk of its online sales.

Target plans to offer fresh and frozen grocery items for pickup at more than 1,500 stores in the fall for the fist time. Warehouse chain competitors Sam’s Club and BJ’s Wholesale Club have also introduced curbside pickup for the first time in the pandemic.

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