If traditional grocers aren't intimidated by Amazon's no-checkout grocery store, they might be by the company's latest venture in the world of food. Amazon Prime subscribers in Dallas, Cincinnati, Virginia Beach, and Austin, Texas, can now buy Whole Foods groceries online and have them delivered in two hours or less from 8am to 10pm, and there are plans to expand the option to other markets soon, reports CNBC. Free two-hour delivery will be available for "the vast majority of things that people buy most frequently," Prime Now VP Stephenie Landry tells the Seattle Times. According to a release, these items include "fresh and organic produce, bakery, dairy, meat and seafood, floral, and everyday staples," as well as "select alcohol." Impatient? One-hour delivery is available for a $7.99 fee on orders of $35 or more.
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey says Amazon's $13.7 billion acquisition of the company last year has already resulted in "lowered prices on many items." He adds this new offering makes life "even easier" for Prime customers who pay a fee of $99 annually or $12.99 per month. The same can't be said for grocers, with the Verge noting "this is the most significant statement yet of Amazon's intent to leverage the [acquisition] to become a grocery destination itself." Though it notes Amazon already partners with grocers and restaurants for food deliveries, the Wall Street Journal adds this latest move could target "major grocers racing to offer deliveries and pickups to better compete with Amazon," as well as online delivery services like Instacart. The Times notes Instacart also offers to deliver Whole Foods groceries within two hours. (Read more Amazon stories.)