Whole Foods just started offering free two-hour delivery for Amazon Prime members in four markets last week and the service is already starting to take off, at least in Austin, TX, according to Business Insider.
The publication reported that Amazon Prime Now couriers outnumbered Instacart couriers in one Austin store, which had an entire section set aside with stand-up coolers as storage for the raft of outgoing orders. The other markets offering the service are Cincinnati – home to competitor Kroger – Dallas and Virginia Beach.
Instacart signed a five-year deal in 2016 to be the exclusive courier for Whole Foods, so it remains unclear how that relationship will unwind.
The e-grocery sector has been heating up significantly since Amazon acquired Whole Foods last year for $13.7 billion. Walmart has been expanding in-store pickup of grocery orders, while Costco and Target (via Instacart and Shipt, respectively) are also upping their grocery delivery services, and Safeway has partnered with Instacart for one-hour delivery.
You can read the rest of the story here. You can also check out Mark Baum of the Food Marketing Institute breaking down the booming e-grocery sector in this MCM video interview. Mark will be leading a session on this topic at Ecommerce Operations Summit 2018, April 3-5 in Columbus, OH.