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Amazon expands drone program to Phoenix

The company said its also now offering half-price Prime memberships to those using EBT

Amazon is bringing drone delivery to the West Valley of metro Phoenix, the retailer announced on Monday. 

The online retail giant has been slow to get its drone program off the ground relative to its biggest competitor Walmart, which recently announced it is deploying drone delivery throughout the Dallas metro area. 

Amazon launched its drone delivery pilot program in 2022 in College Station, Texas, and Lockeford, Calif. The drone program in Phoenix will begin sometime later this year, the company said. 

The company said the program, which still needs approval from the Federal Aviation Administration, will be “fully integrated into Amazon’s delivery network, meaning, for the first time, drones will deploy from facilities next to our same-day delivery site in Tolleson.” 

Amazon referred to the smaller same-day delivery site as a hybrid facility that is part fulfillment center and part delivery station, enabling the company to fulfill, sort, and deliver orders. 

Amazon noted that its drone delivery program in College Station will continue, and the company plans to expand drone delivery to other cities in 2025. 

Meanwhile, Amazon announced on Tuesday that it’s working to build its grocery delivery service with a half-price membership to its Amazon Prime loyalty program for customers using EBT (Electronic Benefit Transfer) cards such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 

Prime memberships typically cost $9.99 a month, but EBT users can join for $4.99, the company said. That includes grocery delivery on orders of $35 or more from Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods, and other local grocery and specialty retailers on Amazon’s online marketplace.

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