Amazon offers Fresh grocery delivery to those without Prime

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Amazon is opening up its Fresh grocery delivery service to shoppers without a $139-a-year Prime membership, which was previously a requirement.

It’s coming to select cities at first, namely Austin, Texas; Boston, Massachusetts; Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Nashville, Tennessee; Phoenix, Arizona; Portland, Oregon; Richmond, Virginia; Sacramento, California; San Diego, California; and San Francisco, California. Amazon plans to expand availability to the whole nation by the end of this year, Bloomberg reported on Wednesday.

The change means that anyone without a Prime membership who wants to shop online at Fresh and have the items delivered to their door will pay a $14 delivery fee on orders under $50. Orders between $50 and $100 will incur an $11 fee, while orders over $100 will be charged $8 for delivery.

As you’d expect, the delivery fees are higher than those for Fresh shoppers with a Prime membership, where a $10 fee is charged for orders under $50, $7 if the shop costs between $50 and $100, and $4 if the order comes in any higher.

Anyone shopping with Fresh can select a two-hour window for delivery, or, for a lower charge, opt for a six-hour window instead.

“We’re always looking for more ways to make grocery shopping easy, fast, and affordable for all of our customers, and are excited to offer Amazon Fresh grocery delivery to customers without a Prime membership in a dozen U.S. cities,” Amazon said in a widely reported statement.

Amazon is also planning to bring together its various online supermarket offerings, which include Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods, and Amazon.com, so that customers can do one single shop instead of separate ones, according to Bloomberg.

Amazon entered the grocery sector in 2007 with the launch of Fresh, which currently comprises 44 supermarkets across the U.S. Further efforts to establish a presence saw it acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 billion in 2017, and it also runs a number of Go convenience stores that operate without cashiers.

But in a reflection of the tough economic times, Amazon recently laid off hundreds of Fresh employees at stores across the nation and closed down eight of its Go stores, though the company insisted it remains committed to its grocery business.

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