Amazon to expand Whole Foods stores

An employee packing a Whole Foods delivery order at a store in Cincinnati. Amazon.com is reportedly expanding the reach of its two-hour delivery service to nearly all of its roughly 475 stores in the United States, as well as other places where it cu
An employee packing a Whole Foods delivery order at a store in Cincinnati. Amazon.com is reportedly expanding the reach of its two-hour delivery service to nearly all of its roughly 475 stores in the United States, as well as other places where it currently has no stores.PHOTO: REUTERS

BENGALURU • Amazon.com is planning to expand its Whole Foods Market portfolio by adding more stores to put more customers within its two-hour delivery service range, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing sources.

Whole Foods employees have looked for retail spaces in Idaho, southern Utah and Wyoming, where it currently has no stores, said the report.

The world's largest online retailer plans to expand its two-hour delivery service, Prime Now, to nearly all of its roughly 475 stores in the United States, the Journal said, citing another source.

The plans are part of Amazon's grocery, delivery and pick-up expansions to cities in the US.

Prime Now services include a two-hour delivery option to subscribers in more than 60 cities, and online grocery pick-up from Whole Foods stores in 30 minutes from nearly 30 cities, WSJ said.

Amazon was not immediately available for comment.

"Grocery delivery through Prime Now has been a hit with customers and we're happy to expand the option of grocery pick-up to even more members," Whole Foods Market executive vice-president of operations Christina Minardi said in a statement last November.

Amazon last Wednesday announced "a record-breaking holiday season" as its Prime subscription service is becoming more and more popular.

"In the US alone, more than one billion items were shipped for free this holiday with Prime," said Amazon Worldwide Consumer chief executive Jeff Wilke.

In April last year, Amazon disclosed that its Prime members had reached a record total of 100 million customers.

Prime and Prime Now services are also available around the world.

Amazon Prime Now and Amazon Prime were rolled out in Singapore in July 2017 and December 2017 respectively. It was the e-commerce giant's first foray into the South-east Asian market.

REUTERS, XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 01, 2019, with the headline 'Amazon to expand Whole Foods stores'. Print Edition | Subscribe