Amazon launches low-cost grocery delivery subscription plan in US


FILE PHOTO: The Amazon.com Inc. logo is seen on the side of a delivery truck in Brooklyn, New York, August 28, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) - Ecommerce giant Amazon.com launched a new grocery delivery subscription on Tuesday in the United States for members of its Prime program and customers who are recipients of the government food assistance benefits.

The subscription plan would allow Amazon's Prime members to get unlimited grocery delivery at $9.99 per month on orders over $35 from Whole Foods Market, Amazon Fresh, and other local grocery and specialty retailers on the platform, including Save Mart, Bartell Drugs, Rite Aid and Pet Food Express.

The service will be available in over 3,500 cities and towns across the country.

Low-income citizens, who rely on the government's Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to support their grocery budgets, would have to pay a reduced $4.99 fee per month for the same perks and do not require a Prime membership, according to the statement by Amazon.com.

The move comes as part of the company's efforts to expand its fresh-food business in a space already occupied by players like Walmart and Target, which also have paid membership programs.

A Walmart Plus offers plans for $12.95 per month, or a yearly plan for $98.

Amazon's offering also includes one-hour delivery windows at no extra cost and unlimited 30-minute pickup on orders of any size.

The move comes after a successful trial of this subscription plan in Denver, Colorado, Sacramento, California, Columbus and Ohio last year, the company added.

(Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Eileen Soreng)

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