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Amazon, Whole Foods stepping up their grocery game in Fort Worth

A cafe and bar is one of the features at the new Whole Foods Market, which opens October 12 in Fort Worth, Friday, October 7, 2016.
A cafe and bar is one of the features at the new Whole Foods Market, which opens October 12 in Fort Worth, Friday, October 7, 2016. rmallison@star-telegram.com

Amazon wants to take an even bigger bite out of the grocery industry in Fort Worth.

The online retail giant, which also owns Whole Foods Markets, has launched grocery pickup at its Fort Worth store, which is in the Waterside development off Bryant Irvin Road.

Customers order their food and sundries online using Amazon’s Prime Now application, and the food can be picked up at Whole Foods in about an hour for no additional fee, or in as little as a half-hour for a $4.99 fee.

No word yet on when the grocery pickup will also be offered at Whole Foods locations in Arlington, Colleyville and numerous places in the Dallas area.

Here’s how it works:

Amazon Prime members place their grocery order in the Prime Now app, and choose a Whole Foods location for pickup.

Orders of $35 or more can be picked up in as little as an hour for no additional charge. Or, for those in even more of a hurry, the order can be made ready in 30 minutes for a $4.99 fee.

To pick up their order, customers will be asked to drive to a designated parking spot. Prime Now employees will carry out the goods and place them in the waiting cars.

The news about the new pickup service in Fort Worth was announced late Tuesday as part of a nationwide expansion of Prime Now services in multiple states.

“Prime Now delivery continues to be a hit with our customers and we’re excited to introduce the service in 10 new cities plus more neighborhoods in New York and Seattle,” said Christina Minardi, Whole Foods Market executive vice president of operations.

“And for our customers in Fort Worth, Kennesaw (Ga.) and Richmond (Va.), we’re thrilled to also offer the option of grocery pickup. It’s just another way we’re making it even easier for more customers to enjoy Whole Foods Market’s healthy and organic food.”

Thousands of items are available for pickup, including most fresh and organic produce inside the store, meats, daily, floral items and toiletries. Alcohol is also available for delivery or pickup to customers in some markets, but not the Fort Worth area.

Amazon’s moves come as many competitors fight to hang onto their market share in the ever-crowded North Texas grocery retail segment.

In 2016, Amazon began offering Amazon Fresh home deliveries throughout the Metroplex.

About a year ago, Walmart began offering grocery delivery through a partnership with Uber in targeted areas of North Texas. Also, Target began offering Target Restock, a service in which non-perishable goods such as paper towels and laundry soap can be routinely shipped to customers’ homes as part of a subscription service.

Kroger also offers curbside grocery pickup at many stores for customers who use the company’s online ClickList app.

A Fort Worth woman left a message on her doormat to hide packages from her husband for an Amazon deliveryman. Her video camera captured the Amazon worker trying to find the perfect spot to stash the package.

Gordon Dickson: 817-390-7796; @gdickson
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