Nothing lasts forever. After offering its Prime members free delivery from Whole Foods for nearly three years, Amazon has decided that Whole Foods customers should pay for their delivery after all. Now, those customers will have to pony up $9.95 if they want Whole Foods to deliver their order.
The company said it was left with little choice. Despite the fact that Whole Foods’ delivery business tripled during the pandemic, the cost of getting orders from store to home needed to be addressed. A Whole Foods spokesperson told CNN that to cover the escalating cost of delivering groceries, it either had to add on a fee or raise prices.
All is not lost for Prime members though. They’ll still get an extra 10% off storewide sales and in select ZIP codes, as well as free pickup from their nearest Whole Foods store.
Will Whole Foods loss be Walmart’s gain
Sensing that an opportunity was in the works, Walmart was ready for Whole Foods' announcement. Just last week, Walmart sent a rather sarcastic email to its customer base offering a rebate of $9.95 to anyone who signed up for Walmart+, the retailer's branded version of Amazon Prime.
"Because customers deserve a grocery delivery service that won't leave a Whole in their wallet for delivery fees — whoops, typo," read the email.
Not only do Walmart+ members get free grocery delivery, but they also enjoy free shipping with no minimum order -- a requirement the company lifted earlier this year. However, that “free delivery” might not last forever. On its site, the retailer says Walmart+ subscribers will have access to unlimited free deliveries “all [holiday] season long.” After that, who knows.