Online grocery shopping and delivery services are more popular than ever due to the COVID-19 pandemic. And one of the biggest players in the online grocery shopping space is Amazon thanks to its Amazon Fresh, Amazon Prime Now, and Whole Foods Market grocery delivery services. Yet while Amazon customers used to be able to get their groceries delivered the same day, most are now finding that the first available delivery spots are usually weeks away.
The bad news is, things aren’t going to get much better for a while if you’re not already an existing Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods Market customer. That’s because as of today, Amazon is no longer accepting new customers for those grocery delivery services, the company announced in a blog post. Anyone who tries to order groceries through Amazon Fresh or Whole Foods Market who has not previously done so will now be prompted to join a waiting list before they are able to place orders.
There’s no telling how long new customers will have to wait on the waiting list, but the company says it plans to add new capacity each week to grocery deliveries, and the more capacity Amazon has, the more new customers it can allow in to shop online for food.
In addition to the waiting list for new customers, Amazon says it also plans to implement a new tool existing customers can use to grab a virtual “place in line” for delivery time slots. The aim is to more fairly distribute grocery delivery windows by making them available on a first-come, first-served basis. There is currently no time frame as to when customers can expect this new tool to launch.