Whole Foods goes from free to $10 grocery delivery fee for Amazon Prime members
Being an Amazon.com Prime member will no longer get you free two-hour deliveries from Whole Foods Market beginning on October 25.
Whole Foods announced in an email to Prime members last week that it would tack on a $9.95 delivery charge to all home deliveries from its stores. The chain said that doing so would make it possible to sell groceries online for the same price as in-store and help cover the costs associated with the service, including investments in equipment and technology.
“Our prices are consistent between the store and online options, which is something you don’t see with a lot of our competitors,” a Whole Foods spokesperson told Business Insider. “We are starting to see more customers come back to shop in stores, which is something we encourage with our contactless payment options.”
The decision to charge Prime members for Whole Foods’ deliveries followed a six market test during the summer in the Boston, Chicago, Detroit, Manchester, NH, Portland, ME, and Providence, RI areas. Whole Foods has said that it has seen a spike in home delivery activity since the beginning of the novel coronavirus pandemic last year.
Prime members looking to save money while continuing to shop Whole Foods online have the option of placing orders for pickup in-store or curbside. The chain said it will continue to offer free-one hour pickup for Prime members.
Some members, who pay $119 annually for two-day delivery from Amazon and other perks, including the one Whole Foods is ending, are unhappy with the decision and took to Twitter and other social media to express their negative emotions.
One disgruntled Prime member named Ruben made the point this way: “Amazon: Are you sure you can’t waive delivery fees? We did — per @JeffBezos — just pay for delivering Jeff into ‘space’ earlier this year — it can be his way of thanking us for a change.”
Many pointed to the diminishing value of the Prime membership as they claim Amazon continues to remove perks. Others said drivers will receive smaller tips, leaving Amazon to profit as low-paid workers pay the price.
Brandy O’Neill, a food blogger who goes under the name Nutmeg Nanny online, said that she will not renew her Prime membership.
“I felt they were taking away a service, and the fee is ridiculous,” Ms. O’Neill told The Washington Post. “It’s just rude.”
- Whole Foods is adding a $10 delivery charge – CNN
- Amazon will start charging a $10 fee for Whole Foods deliveries across the US after years of offering the service for free – Business Insider
- Ruben – Twitter/@reasew
- Ironing Man – Twitter/@TrueIroningMan
- Prime Members bristle at Whole Foods’ $9.95 delivery surcharge: ‘It’s just rude’ – The Washington Post
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What will be the net effect of Amazon.com’s decision to charge Prime members for home deliveries from Whole Foods? Should Amazon be concerned about the perceived value of holding a Prime membership?