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Amazon Fresh expands grocery delivery in Tampa

The online retailer branches out beyond the Whole Foods’ organic products it already offers.

TAMPA — There’s another Amazon distribution center in town, but this one houses groceries.

An Amazon Fresh fulfillment center has opened on Oak Fair Boulevard, south of Interstate 4 between Tampa and Brandon, to handle grocery orders with delivery times of one to two hours. The online retailer said the new center would begin handling orders Friday morning.

Amazon Prime users have been able to order groceries for more than a year through Prime Now and Whole Foods. The new Amazon Fresh option doesn’t source from the organic grocer’s aisles, but from the new distribution center’s massive inventory. The warehouse is near other distribution centers and an office park.

This means Tampa Bay Prime shoppers can now have grocery brands, produce and perishables delivered that organic-focused Whole Foods doesn’t sell. Amazon Fresh also offers cleaning supplies, personal care items, health items, popular electronics and toys.

Prime Now will still handle Whole Foods grocery deliveries.

Related: Who does grocery delivery best, Amazon Prime Now, Instacart, Walmart or Shipt?

When Amazon Fresh first launched in select markets, Prime members still had to pay an extra $14.99 to use it. In October, Amazon dropped the extra fee for members, who already pay $119 a year. Orders over $35 now come without added fees, unless shoppers want to pay $4.99 for one-hour delivery.

Amazon first began its foray into groceries after acquiring Whole Foods in 2017. But with a limited number of Whole Foods locations to fill grocery orders, Amazon has steadily been increasing its grocery footprint with the Amazon Fresh warehouses.

The additions position the company to better compete with Walmart, which has not only been growing its delivery and pickup program, but is also already the largest grocery retailer in the country.

By this August, Amazon added 18 markets under the Fresh service, including Miami and Atlanta.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the correct location of the Amazon Fresh warehouse.