May 30, 2024

Amazon wants to lead the pack in food delivery and believes that its new low-cost subscription service will keep it ahead of competitors like Walmart and Target.

The e-commerce giant said in a statement Tuesday that it is launching a grocery delivery program for Prime members and customers that use government-sponsored EBT cards. The subscription service will be available to customers in more than 3,500 cities and towns nationwide, the company said.

Prime members will have to pay $9.99 a month for the subscription, while customers using an EBT card will have to pay $4.99. EBT card holders do not need to be Prime members to get access to the subscription.

The subscription offers unlimited delivery on orders over $35 from Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market, as well as other local grocery and specialty retailers such as Rite Aid and Cardenas Markets, the company said. Moreover, Amazon is offering a one-hour delivery window at no extra cost, as well as unlimited 30-minute pick up on orders of any size, it added.

Amazon’s cheaper subscription may be one way it is trying to fend off retail competition. Walmart, for instance, offers its (+) Plus membership for $12.95 a month, or $98 per year. Meanwhile Target recently launched its paid Target Circle 360 membership, which is priced at $49 a year. Both memberships at Walmart and Target also offer free deliveries on orders that are over $35.

Amazon said it decided to launch the subscription service after it pilot tested it late last year with Prime members in Ohio, Colorado, and California.

Tony Hoggett, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide grocery stores, said that the company’s low cost delivery subscription aims to save customers “time and money every time they shop for groceries.”

“We have many different customers with many different needs,” Hoggett said.

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