NEW YORK — It's happening: Amazon is bringing its speedy delivery to Whole Foods.
The online retail giant plans to roll out two-hour delivery at the organic grocer this year to those who pay for Amazon's $99-a-year Prime membership. It is Amazon's biggest -- and most expected -- move since it bought the organic grocer last year.
Right after taking over Whole Foods, Amazon made a splash by cutting prices on bananas, yogurt and other items. It also began selling Kindle e-readers in some of its 470 stores. But rival grocers have been preparing for the day Amazon would expand Whole Foods grocery delivery.
Walmart has expanded its online ordering and store pickup service. And Target bought grocery-delivery company Shipt late last year.
Amazon.com Inc. said deliveries will start Thursday in Austin, Texas; Cincinnati; Dallas; and Virginia Beach, Virginia. The service will expand nationwide this year.
Shoppers will be able to order meat, seafood and other grocery items through Amazon's Prime Now app and website.\
One of the big hurdles for the growth of grocery delivery has been that many people simply want to pick out their own meats and produce. But supermarkets and restaurants have been under pressure to offer customers the convenience and speed they want.
Amazon, based in Seattle, said there's no extra fee for two-hour deliveries above $35, but one-hour delivery will cost $8.