Amazon starts Whole Foods home delivery service in Cincinnati

Inc. signage is displayed at a Pop Up store inside the Lakeview Whole Foods Market Inc. store in Chicago Illinois U.S. on Monday Nov. 20 2017

The new deal went into effect on Thursday.

Launched in 2005, Prime is Amazon's paid-membership program that gives access to a number of benefits, including free two-day shipping, unlimited video streaming, and online storage space.

Two-hour delivery is free and a one-hour option costs $7.99 on orders of $35 or more.

For Amazon, the four-city tryout is a great way to see how many of its customers will engage with the new service and offer a reality check on how hard it is to manage, said Sucharita Kodali, a senior retail analyst with Forrester.

Greeley is the first high-profile Amazon executive known to be spending time at Whole Foods, the grocery chain Amazon bought for $13.7 billion previous year.

There's no word yet from Amazon on how the rollout of its Prime Now delivery service will unfold. Interestingly, Austin-based Amazon customers can still make two-hour orders from Sprouts, one of Whole Foods' biggest competitors.

It was always a matter of when, not if, Amazon.com would start offering its Prime members fast deliveries of groceries ordered from Whole Foods. So delivering Whole Foods makes sense since the majority of the infrastructure is already in place.

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The new announcement follows Amazon's recent acquisition of Whole Foods in August 2017. Instacart brought hundreds of grocery retailers online, and they have managed to do it successfully.

Austinites who want to skip the lines at Whole Foods Market can now wait for their fresh produce and healthy products to be delivered at home.

"Whole Foods' strength has always been in the fresh foods", Cerankosky said.

Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods has helped the company maintain its big-dog-on-the-porch persona.

Amazon plans to offer the service more broadly in the future. Per Landry, "we're going to have a huge expansion ahead".

Amazon lowered prices at Whole Foods on a range of kitchen staples, including ground beef, rotisserie chicken and avocados.

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