Whole Foods Launching One-Hour Pickup Nationwide

Gina Acosta, Progressive Grocer
Whole Foods Launching One-Hour Pickup Nationwide
More than 40% of Whole Foods Market pickup orders each month are from customers trying the service for the first time.

Whole Foods Market has rolled out one-hour online order pickup nationwide and could soon import a capability it provides in the UK that further elevates shopper convenience.

Prime members can shop fresh produce, meat and seafood, holiday favorites, everyday staples and other locally sourced items all available with free, one-hour pickup at Whole Foods on orders of $35 or more.

COVID-19 has accelerated the adoption of online grocery services and prompted new customers to try services like grocery pickup. In fact, more than 40% of Whole Foods Market pickup orders each month are from customers trying the service for the first time, the company says. And, according to recent data from Global Data Research, almost 68% of consumers say they will continue to use curbside pickup even when the pandemic has subsided.

The Whole Foods pickup news comes after Stephanie Landry, Amazon’s VP of grocery, told Recode recently that “Amazon has come up with a solution if there are large spikes in [online] demand this fall and winter, whether because of a jump in COVID-19 cases, a surge in other illnesses (like the flu), or bad weather.”

According to Landry, in the event that a shopper can't secure a preferred delivery or pickup time when placing an order, that customer will receive a notice when a spot becomes available. The technology reportedly will apply to orders placed with Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods.

The feature, according to Recode, amounts to enabling customers “to reserve a virtual place in line when there is no immediate availability over the next few days. Once a shopper signs up, they are given an estimate for when delivery availability will open up, and, when it does, the company notifies them and gives them two hours to place their order.”

Further comment from Amazon wasn't immediately available. The retailer reportedly is testing the technology in the United Kingdom, and Landry said the feature could debut in the United States in “the coming months.” 

In addition to grocery pickup, Prime members in more than 2,000 cities and towns can receive unlimited free, two-hour delivery on more than 170,000 items from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market on orders of $35 or more.

Amazon recently offered Prime Day deals at Whole Foods. Prime members received discounts on customer favorites including 35% off Bare Bones broths and 35% off all packaged teas, available through Oct. 27.

No. 2 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2020 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, Seattle-based Amazon is also planning new grocery stores in the Los Angeles and Philadelphia markets, according to recent media reports. Amazon-owned Whole Foods, based in Austin, Texas, is No. 24 on the list, while Minneapolis-based Target, parent company of Shipt, is No. 7.

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