If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber, you just got another sweet benefit to make use of. Starting now, all Prime members can get free, one-hour pickup from any Whole Foods location. That’s all 487 locations nationwide.
The curbside pickup is free if you order over $35 of groceries. That’s a nice perk, letting you order your groceries online, then drive down to your local Whole Foods to have them do a contact-free curbside to your car. Fantastic.
With contactless deliveries on the rise and roughly a third of Americans saying they’d happily never set foot inside a store again, this is only going to help Whole Foods sales figures. We’ve been grocery shopping online exclusively since before the pandemic hit, and I can’t see us going back either.
Will more supermarkets open up warehouse-style stores, used only by pickers for online orders, like the one Whole Foods opened in New York in September? I can see it happening, especially if they take advantage of urban office blocks or mall locations that have been left unoccupied due to the pandemic. That would protect shoppers from exposure to the public, while also keeping commercial landlords happy.
The question is: what happens after a vaccine comes and the pandemic is no more? Will anyone want to go back to the old ways of shopping? Will companies who have heavily invested in new online ordering methods be able to pivot back? Is this the new normal for retail? I tend to think it will be, with storefronts carrying less on-hand stock and serving as demonstration rooms for the online business.
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