Amazon has expanded its grocery delivery and free pickup service to all customers where Amazon Fresh is available.
The retailer said it also updated its technology and grocery offerings at Amazon Fresh stores in Pasadena, Irvine and Woodland Hills.
The services were previously available only to Amazon Prime members.
Delivery fees for Amazon Fresh orders online range from $4.95 to $13.95 for customers without a Prime membership. That’s $4 more than Prime members pay per delivery. Prime members also get free delivery on orders over $100.
In its Thursday, Nov. 9 announcement, Amazon said customers also can order delivery from a variety of grocery and specialty retailers available on Amazon.com. Locally, that includes Bristol Farms and Cardenas Markets.
Amazon said it plans to expand grocery delivery and free pickup to all of its Whole Foods Markets, too.
Despite the expanded services, Amazon is reportedly facing lawsuits and getting into legal battles with landlords as the number of “zombie” stores — or properties where it was supposed to open Amazon Fresh grocery stores — is starting to pile up, Business Insider reported.
The company has been trying to establish a larger presence in the grocery marketplace, Supermarket News said, but that has been a struggle since the e-commerce giant first acquired the Whole Foods grocery brand in 2017.
Meanwhile, three local stores have been revamped.
Amazon said it added thousands of new products and Krispy Kreme Doughnut shops to Fresh stores in Pasadena, Irvine and Woodland Hills, according to Claire Peters, vice president worldwide for Amazon Fresh. The clunky Dash Carts are more user-friendly, too.
The carts, which are made heavy with technology that helps track what shoppers put inside them, got updated software and hardware providing real-time receipt totals. The carts can alert a shopper to store discounts and produce can be weighed on a built-in scale in the basket.
The smartcart allows shoppers to skip the checkout line, much like Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology. When they’re ready to check out, customers exit the store through the Amazon Dash Cart lane and their payment is processed using the credit card associated with their Amazon account.
Shoppers also can check out the traditional way with cashiers.
The Southern California store upgrades follow the redesign of two Amazon Fresh stores in the Chicago area.
“We really spent the last couple months diving deep to understand what our customers really want,” Peters said. “They are focused on selection, value and convenience, so we improved on those areas.”
Peters said the Krispy Kreme shops are especially popular among shoppers.
“From what I’ve seen, everyone loves those — and our coffee sampling,” she said.