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Amazon Fresh grocery delivery opens to people without Prime

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

Amazon is opening up its Fresh grocery delivery service to people without Prime in select U.S. cities.

Users in a dozen cities, including San Francisco, Boston, Nashville, and Austin, will be able to access the service. Amazon will charge non-Prime members $13.95 for deliveries under $50, while orders between $50 and $100 will incur a $10.95 fee, and orders over $100 will carry a $7.95 delivery fee.

Previously, only members of Amazon’s $139-a-year Prime program could order groceries from Fresh.

Amazon launched Fresh in 2007, marking the e-commerce giant’s first foray into selling groceries online. In the years since, it has doubled down on the grocery market, buying Whole Foods a decade later for $13.7 billion. It also operates a chain of Fresh supermarkets, and Go cashierless convenience stores.

The efforts have delivered mixed results. It has struggled to integrate Fresh and Whole Foods. As part of a companywide review of expenses, CEO Andy Jassy announced earlier this year Amazon would close some Fresh and Go stores, and pause further expansion until it finds a format that resonates with customers and “where we like the economics.” Last week, Amazon cut some jobs at Fresh grocery stores.

And earlier this year, amid mounting costs, Amazon said it would start charging delivery fees on Fresh grocery orders under $150, removing an earlier perk that guaranteed Prime members free delivery on orders over $35.

The company intends to announce more changes to its grocery business in the coming months. It hopes to roll out Fresh delivery for non-Prime members nationwide, and include products from Whole Foods and other grocers, according to Bloomberg. It also plans to better unify the Whole Foods and Fresh online shopping experience, Bloomberg reported, addressing a key gripe among customers.

On Wednesday, the company also introduced a revamped format for its Fresh stores, which have been criticized by some shoppers for being stale and impersonal. The format is rolling out at a location in Oak Law, Illinois, and features an in-store Krispy Kreme kiosk, as well as an expanded selection of products.

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