Amazon brings free two-hour delivery to more Whole Foods stores

Online retailer also unveils in-car delivery for Prime members

Amazon has chalked off a few more major cities for online grocery delivery from Whole Foods Market.

The Seattle-based e-tail giant also is launching Amazon Key In-Car Delivery, a free service that enables Prime members to have Amazon.com purchases delivered to their parked cars.

Amazon said Tuesday that, through its Prime Now program, Whole Foods customers in Denver, Sacramento and San Diego can now get free two-hour delivery of natural and organic products.

Prime members in those markets can shop for thousands of Whole Foods items — including fresh and organic produce, bakery, dairy, meat, seafood, floral, everyday staples and locally sourced products — through PrimeNow.com or the Prime Now app and receive home delivery. A selection of alcohol is also available for delivery to customers in Sacramento and San Diego, Amazon said.

Two-hour delivery is no charge on orders of $35 or more for Prime members, who also can choose delivery within an hour for $7.99. Delivery from Whole Foods via Prime Now is available daily from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

“We’ve been delighted with the customer response to free two-hour delivery through Prime Now, and we’re excited to bring the service to our customers in Denver, Sacramento and San Diego,” Christina Minardi, executive vice president of operations for Whole Foods, said in a statement. “Today’s announcement is another way that we are continuing to expand access to our high-quality products and locally sourced favorites.”

Amazon closed its $13.7 billion acquisition of Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods in August 2017. Free two-hour delivery from the chain was launched in February and has steadily expanded to more large markets — including greater Los Angeles and Orange County, Calif., earlier this month.

Other metro areas with the two-hour delivery service from Whole Foods include San Francisco, Atlanta, Austin, Cincinnati, Dallas and Virginia Beach.

Delivering to parked cars

Meanwhile, the Amazon Key in-car service allows Prime members to have Amazon packages securely delivered to compatible cloud-connected vehicles parked at their home, at work and other publicly accessible locations.

Reportedly rolling out to 37 cities, the service works via the Amazon Key app and supports most 2015 or newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac and Volvo vehicles with a connected-car service plan such as OnStar or Volvo On Call. Setup requires users to add a vehicle and link their Amazon account with their connected-car service account.

In-car delivery works as follows: After setting up the service, Prime members shop on Amazon.com or the Amazon mobile app, select eligible addresses and choose the in-car delivery option at checkout. Shoppers are then informed when to expect delivery, typically within a four-hour time window, Amazon said. On delivery day, users receive a notification on the delivery time and must park within two blocks of the designated delivery address. Amazon authorizes the delivery driver before customers’ vehicles are unlocked, which is done without giving any special access or keys to the driver. Amazon then notifies customers when the package is delivered and the vehicle is relocked.

Amazon Key users also can track when their car was unlocked and relocked through the app’s activity feed, as well as rate their in-car delivery. The in-car service builds on the Amazon Key In-Home Delivery service that premiered late last year, which enables packages to be placed inside customers’ front doors.

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