A Whole Foods spokesperson told Bloomberg that the new delivery fee in some markets is a pilot program.
Whole Foods Market is adding a $9.95 delivery fee to online orders from Amazon Prime members in at least five markets.
According to Bloomberg, shoppers in the Boston, Chicago, Manchester, N.H., Portland, Maine, and Providence, R.I., were informed of the fee, which starts on deliveries after Aug. 30.
“This service fee helps to cover operating costs, so we can continue to offer the same competitive everyday prices in-store and online at Whole Foods Market,” the company said in a notice sent to shoppers last week. Grocery pickup remains free, the notice said.
A Whole Foods spokesperson told Bloomberg that the new delivery fee in some markets is a pilot program, saying the company preferred using the charge to help cover the costs of equipment, technology and delivery rather than raising food prices.
Amazon told Food & Wine that their growing delivery business has increased operating costs — with the brand delivering three times as many orders in 2020 as in 2019, and with larger basket sizes per order — so instead of raising the prices of groceries to cover these costs, they've decided to test adding fees to the delivery itself. Amazon also said they believe the fees are comparable to similar services offered by competitors.
The first national certified-organic grocer, Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods has more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The grocer is No. 26 on The PG 100 list, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of thetop food and consumables retailers in North America, while Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on PG’s list.