Updated with comment from PCC CEO Cate Hardy.
Amazon is expanding its Prime Now one- and two-hour delivery service in Seattle to include delivery from local stores, starting with two popular independent grocery chains: PCC Natural Markets and Uwajimaya.
Prime Now started by delivering products from Amazon, before adding restaurant delivery, which was piloted in Amazon’s hometown before expanding to other parts of the country. In the case of grocery stores, however, Seattle isn’t the first. Prime Now currently offers delivery from local stores in Portland, Chicago, New York, and San Diego.
A wide range of products are available from PCC and Uwajimaya via the Amazon Prime Now app — including prepared food, snacks, pantry items, deli items, bulk foods, meat, produce, frozen food and beverages. PCC and Uwajimaya are live in the Prime Now app as of now, with delivery windows from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Amazon says the prices available via the Prime Now app match those in store.
Prime Now deliveries are available to Amazon Prime members, people who pay a $99/year subscription. Deliveries through the Prime Now app cost $7.99 for one-hour delivery, and they are free for two-hour delivery.
In an interview, PCC CEO Cate Hardy explained that the grocery chain sees delivery as a good way to serve customers in the Seattle region who have been asking for a PCC in their neighborhood. PCC launched delivery through Instacart in November, and it plans to continue offering that service to customers in addition to the Prime Now option. Instacart also matches in-store prices.
“Amazon Prime Now is an opportunity for us to expand into even more zip codes and parts of the Seattle metropolitan area, and reach more households,” she said. She declined to discuss the underlying economics and margins for the store.
Under the system, an Amazon Prime Now shopper shops the store, just like any other shopper, to pick the items ordered by a customer. From there, dedicated teams within the PCC store get the items packaged and ready, and Prime Now drivers come to pick up and deliver orders. Deliveries come from PCC stores in Seattle’s Greenlake Village and Issaquah, Wash.
“We absolutely do believe it has material potential for sales,” Hardy said. “Online shopping in all categories is growing year-over-year, and grocery retail food delivery is no exception. We’re excited to be partnering with the two dominant companies in this space.”
Ten thousand or more SKUs are available from PCC in the Prime Now app, which represents “the bulk of items in our store,” she said.
An Amazon representative said they’ve already seen a large volume of orders for the new grocery options this morning.