Amazon charges a fee of $ 9.95 on deliveries from Whole Foods. And Walmart leaps

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(CNN) – Whole Foods shoppers may have received a shock this week if they noticed a new delivery charge of $ 9.95 on orders placed through Amazon Prime.

Amazon, which acquired Whole Foods in 2017, previously offered two-hour free delivery to Prime members, but warned buyers last month that a new charge was coming.

The charge was put in place to help cover delivery operating costs like equipment and technology without raising product prices, a Whole Foods spokesperson told CNN Business. Whole Foods delivered three times more orders in 2020 than in 2019, the spokesperson added, as the pandemic has increased customers’ reliance on delivery.

While the fees are new, some Prime perks will remain, including free pickup for orders over $ 35 and exclusive discounts.

Walmart’s response

Walmart wasted no time trolling its retail rival.

In an email to customers last week, Walmart announced that anyone who signs up for Walmart + – the retailer’s version of Prime – on Monday, will receive $ 9.95 in return.

“Because customers deserve a grocery delivery service that won’t leave a lot in their wallet for delivery costs – oops, typo,” the email read.

Walmart + offers subscribers free grocery delivery, free delivery with no minimum order, and contactless payment. The subscription costs $ 12.95 per month, or $ 98 for the year. Amazon Prime costs $ 12.99 per month, or $ 119 for the year.

Commercial rivalry

Walmart’s sarcastic response is only the latest in the competition between the two mega-retailers.

In August, Walmart launched its own delivery service, GoLocal. The service delivers products to customers from other companies’ websites and is part of Walmart’s strategy to expand its offerings. Home Depot was the service’s first partner earlier this month.

Walmart and Amazon have also already started offering Black Friday deals.

Amazon began offering “Black Friday-worthy” deals earlier this month. Walmart will present its “Black Friday Deals for Days” promotion for the second year in a row starting November 3. The promotion includes sales during each week of November.

– Danielle Wiener-Bronner, Nathaniel Meyersohn and Jordan Valinsky of CNN Business contributed to this report.

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