Amazon reportedly dropping local third parties from fresh grocery program
The Amazon Fresh program is phasing out its local partners.
Amazon’s Fresh service, which enables shoppers to order from a selection of fresh and frozen foods, and some general merchandise, is dropping local third-party vendors from the platform. The program closes on May 30, according to Business Insider.
Vendors were previously allowed to enroll in Amazon Fresh’s Local Market Seller initiative, which supplemented Fresh’s offerings with locally sourced items. Instead, the program will be more retail-based, with Amazon buying product wholesale and selling it to consumers, much like a typical store, the report said.
According to a source Business Insider only identified as “Freddy,” the change was disclosed in an email to vendor partners on May 11.
Amazon declined to comment on the business change.
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Target rolling out same-day delivery nationwide, lowers fees
Target Corp. has made a big move against its rivals in the home delivery war.
The discounter is rolling out its next-day delivery service of household essentials, Target Restock, nationwide. It’s also reducing the delivery cost, with the service now free for all Target REDcard holders, and $2.99 for all other orders (down from $4.99) — with no membership fee.
“Our guests love the speed and convenience of the service,” said Dawn Block, Target’s senior VP of digital. “And now that Target Restock is an even better value, we think the service will become increasingly popular.”
The program enables customers to choose from an expanded online assortment of 35,000 national-brand and owned-brand essentials. Customers can order up to 45 lbs. of merchandise (an online capacity tracker keeps shoppers abreast of available space), and all orders are fulfilled directly from the shelves of local stores. Orders can be placed up to 7 p.m.
To speed up the ordering process, the company recently launched a voice-activated Target Restock experience that enables customers to place orders through Google Home or a smartphone with the Google Assistant app, according to Target.
The expansion comes less than a year since the company introduced Target Restock in its Minneapolis-St. Paul hometown market. In June, the program launched with an assortment of approximately 15,000 items. Since then, the company has rapidly been rolling out the service to additional markets.
Last fall, the company estimated that Target Restock would reach 70 million people by October, or about one-fifth of the United States’ population. The nationwide expansion will now reach more than 75% of the U.S. population, according to the blog.
The program gives competitors a run for their money — literally. Amazon’s Prime Pantry also boxes up customers’ orders of everyday essentials, however the program is reserved for Prime members. Also, orders also have a $6 fee, and are delivered between one and four days.
Walmart is also testing grocery delivery. This discounter’s goal is to offer the service across 800 stores by the end of the year, a move that will serve more than 40% of U.S. households. The program, which is currently available in six markets, will grow to serve more than 100 metro areas across the country.
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