Whole Foods to scrap free delivery for Prime members in numerous locations

Whole Foods Market is set to stop offering free delivery to Prime members in certain areas as part of a trial to help “cover operating costs”.

Amazon, which purchased Whole Foods in 2017, has until now offered its Prime subscribers free two-hour delivery on Whole Foods orders over $35.

According to an email it sent to subscribers Amazon will now charge shoppers in Detroit, Boston, Chicago, Providence, Portland and Manchester a $9.95 “service fee” for two-hour deliveries.

“We are writing to let you know about an upcoming change to Prime grocery delivery benefits at Whole Foods Market in your area,” the email read.

“Starting Aug. 30, 2021, delivery orders from Whole Foods Market in your area will include a $9.95 service fee. This service fee helps to cover operating costs so we can continue to offer the same competitive everyday prices in-store and online at Whole Foods Market.”

READ MORE: Amazon to spend nearly $1bn halving Prime delivery times

Amazon says the controversial new charge will cover the costs of equipment, technology and other bills associated with online delivery, which has skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic.

While 1-hour click and collect orders will remain free, it is not yet clear whether Amazon will expand the new service fee to more locations.

Though the move is sure to turn some Prime customers off of its service, Whole Foods now delivers over three time as many online orders as it did pre-pandemic, making the already razor thin margins of online delivery even less sustainable.

Prior to the pandemic, Amazon also made Amazon Fresh deliveries free for Prime subscribers on orders over $35, and there is no indication yet that the retailer is looking to wind down this benefit.

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1 Comment. Leave new

  • It looks like Amazon is charging a service fee for living in Black areas. I pay the same prime membership as the suburbs do. Is Amazon going to charge Blacks a lesser membership fee if they live in the city?
    This is unfair and I am thinking seriously about canceling my Prime Membership. It was convenient but this racial bias.


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