- Amazon Fresh has expanded one and two-hour delivery service to new cities including Cincinnati; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Tampa, Florida, according to local reports. It also launched the service in Columbus, Ohio, last month.
- Shoppers in those cities will now have access to free two-hour delivery from Amazon Fresh for orders of $35 or more and one-hour delivery for a fee of $4.99.
- Amazon also opened a new fulfillment center in Tampa specifically for Amazon Fresh orders, the Tampa Bay Times reported. The new facility began processing orders Dec. 13.
This is Amazon Fresh’s third expansion this year, making the service available in more than 20 U.S. cities. The expansion began with Las Vegas in June, followed by Houston, Minneapolis and Phoenix in August.
Amazon has continued to scale back fees associated with Amazon Fresh. USA Today wrote in 2018 the service cost $7.99 for one-hour delivery, but recent reports put the fee at $4.99. Additionally, in October Amazon eliminated the $14.99 monthly fee for Amazon Fresh.
The cost-cutting moves will catch attention from customers who view grocery delivery as cost-prohibitive and don’t want to spend the extra money for it. With fees dropping, Amazon Fresh becomes a more accessible option on par with Walmart and Instacart.
The new distribution center in Tampa will house inventory for Amazon Fresh orders, while Prime Now will continue to fulfill orders for Whole Foods customers from the grocery store aisles. The move comes as grocers continue to expand in the Sunshine State. Kroger and Ocado have begun construction on an automated fulfillment center in Groveland, which sits within striking distance of Tampa as well as Orlando.
Amazon has reportedly opened additional standalone facilities for Amazon Fresh in other markets and redesigned some existing fulfillment centers to accommodate fresh grocery.
Expansion of the fresh grocery service has continued alongside Amazon's other efforts in grocery, including its plans to open a new grocery chain, price cuts at Whole Foods and its integration of Prime Now and Whole Foods grocery delivery into Amazon.com.