The Grocery Wars Heat Up with Amazon Expansion

Flexing its Whole Foods Market muscles, Amazon announced an expansion of same-day grocery delivery in New York and three cities in Florida, after Walmart’s Jet.com and FreshDirect both announced plans for fulfillment centers in the Bronx, NY.

The service, which launched in February, has been expanded now to include lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, parts of Long Island and Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Palm Beach. Amazon Prime members can shop in Prime Now to find qualifying items from Whole Foods including meats, produce, seafood and staple items.

Same-day delivery is offered from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., either online or through the Prime Now app. In all, it’s available in about two dozen cities; others include Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beach.

Meanwhile FreshDirect is opening a 400,000-square-foot distribution in the South Bronx that will allow it to double its business, CEO Jason Ackerman told Transport Topics. The company, which launched in the mid-1990s, has annual revenue estimated at $800 million, per Kantar Retail.

FreshDirect sees its longevity in the sector and market (10 years in New York, same-day since 2016) and expertise with specialty products as differentiating factors against the giants.

For Jet.com, its new leased Bronx fulfillment center will hold groceries, everyday essentials and some general merchandise. The company will also deliver items through its NY Favorites Shop from local brands such as Roberta’s and The Meatball Shop.

In Florida, where Amazon is establishing a second front and same-day grocery beachhead, Publix is the top grocer, with specialty chains like Sprouts Farmers Market and Lucky’s Market coming on, according to CNBC.

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