The race to deliver all manner of consumer goods – from grapefruit to gravy boats — to North Texas homes continues apace with Amazon announcing early Thursday that it will pair its Prime Now service with a Sprouts Farmers Market store in Dallas.
Amazon did not list the turf covered locally by the program, but a spot check of several zip codes shows that it includes some areas south of downtown Dallas previously described as a food desert. The program could help fill the gap while the city tries to lure a grocer into the area.
Under the program, members of Amazon’s Prime program can order grocery items, including fresh produce and seafood, through the Prime Now one-hour delivery service.
Dallas is one of only four U.S. cities to host the program.
Consumers will be able to shop all of the Sprouts items listed in the Prime Now app or on www.primenow.com.
The announcement comes a day after Google expanded its Google Express delivery service to include a large part of Texas and parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.
Once seen as bitter rivals, brick and mortar retailers are pairing up with tech giants to provide nearly instant gratification to the time-starved and the sedentary. The partnerships expand the reach of the retailers, while potentially boosting participation in profitable membership programs.
“Sprouts is excited to partner with Amazon Prime Now to offer Dallas-area Prime members fresh, natural and organic food through our exclusive partnership,” Shawn Gensch, Sprouts chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “We’re pleased to offer additional shopping flexibility for our Dallas Sprouts fans and reach new shoppers through Amazon’s broad reach.”
Sprouts-Prime Now orders will be fulfilled from the Sprouts store on Henderson Avenue. The company expects to add more fulfillment stores in the future to expand the reach in this area.
Sprouts worked with Amazon to determine the best fulfillment location and coverage zone for the Dallas launch, explained Sprouts spokesman Diego Romero, who was on hand for the Dallas launch.
Items delivered from the store carry the same price tag an in-store consumer would pay. The minimum order is $30.
Here’s the drill: Amazon Prime members can order items either through a smartphone app or online at www.primenow.com. Available items and coverage area are found on the same platforms.
“Pickers,” employed by Amazon select the items, in some cases with the assistance of Sprouts employees, Romero said. The groceries are then handed off to a driver.
Through Prime Now, one-hour delivery is $7.99 and two-hour delivery is free. Amazon’s Prime program, which also includes access to music, movies and discounted package delivery, is $99 a year. The service also recently added delivery of restaurant food in Dallas.
Hours into the North Texas launch, Dallas resident Kam Deleon was gamely attempting to maneuver two shopping carts at the Henderson Avenue Sprouts. One was filled to overflowing with a garden’s worth of produce – kale, cabbage, parsley, tomatoes.
The other contained her 4-year-old son Reese.
She was very interested to learn more about the program.
“I feel like mothers are at stores all the time,” said Deleon, who already is a Prime member. “If you can alleviate one store out of your rotation that’s a bonus. I think it’s fantastic. I hope it succeeds.”
Dallas is the first Texas city to offer grocery delivery through Prime Now. The Sprouts-Prime Now service already is available in Los Angeles, San Diego and San Jose.
Prime Now is available in Austin, Houston and San Antonio but does not include grocery delivery.
Grocers throughout North Texas have been working steadily to make it easier for consumers to get the groceries home.
Wal-Mart and Kroger offer curbside pickup, while Whole Foods Market and Costco cast their lot with the burgeoning Google Express program.
Membership in Google Express costs $95 a year and includes free delivery for orders of at least $15. Pay-as-you-go costs $4.99 per eligible orders.
Overnight delivery is available from Costco and Whole Foods as well as Barnes & Noble, PetSmart and Walgreens.
Two-day delivery is available from Fry’s, Guitar Center, L’Occitane, Ulta, Vitamin Shop, Moosejaw, Sur La Table, Ace Hardware, Kohl’s, Treasure Island, Roadrunner, Bed Bath & Beyond and buybuy Baby.
Source: The Dallas Morning News