Amazon axes free grocery delivery on Prime orders under $150

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. axe / æks / (v.) – to cut or remove something suddenly

    The network axed the TV show because it wasn’t popular.

  2. window / ˈwɪn doʊ / (n.) – a period when there is a chance to do something

    My class ends at 1:00 p.m. and the next one is at 3:00 p.m. I can use that window to eat and rest.

  3. perk / pɜrk  / (n.) – an extra thing to enjoy because one paid or did something

    One of the perks from my work is free lunch.

  4. impose / ɪmˈpoʊz / (v.) – to force someone to accept a law or rule

    The company imposed a smoking ban.

  5. hazy / ˈheɪ zi / (adj.) – not sure or clear

    She can’t remember what happened because her memory is hazy.


Read the text below.

Amazon is axing free grocery delivery for Prime members on orders less than $150.

Customers who get their groceries delivered from Amazon Fresh — and pay less than $150 — will be charged between $3.95 and $9.95, depending on the order size, the company said in an email to Prime members.

The new policy starts February 28.

“We will continue to offer convenient two-hour delivery windows for all orders, and customers in some areas will be able to select a longer, six-hour delivery window for a reduced fee,” Amazon said in the email.

Launched in 2005, Prime has more than 200 million members worldwide who pay $139 a year, or $14.99 a month, for faster shipping and other perks, such as free delivery and returns.

Currently, the company offers members free grocery deliveries on orders above $35, with the exception of New York, where it’s $50.

Under the new policy, the company said delivery charges will be $3.95 for orders between $100-$150, $6.95 for orders of $50 to $100, and $9.95 for orders under $50. Amazon Fresh deliveries over $150 will remain free.

“We’re introducing a service fee on some Amazon Fresh delivery orders to help keep prices low in our online and physical grocery stores as we better cover grocery delivery costs and continue to enable offering a consistent, fast, and high-quality delivery experience,” Amazon spokesperson Lara Hendrickson said in a prepared statement.

The company has dozens of Amazon Fresh stores across the U.S. and has opened some abroad. Amazon has also owned Whole Foods since 2017.

The decision to impose new fees comes as the company attempts to trim costs amid a hazy economic environment. In the past few months, it has axed unprofitable areas of its business and paused hiring among its corporate workforce. It said in January that it would lay off 18,000 workers.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Amazon will charge delivery fees for orders under $150. Do you think this is fair? How do you think loyal customers will react? Discuss.
  • How do you often react to a service that raises fees (ex. you leave, you still use it)? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Is online grocery shopping popular in your country? Now that COVID-19’s threat has been reduced, which do you prefer, online grocery or going to the supermarket? Discuss.
  • With the new delivery fees, people buying groceries from Amazon Fresh will now have to pay more. What’s more important for you, low cost or convenience? Why? Discuss.