Delivery vans parked at an Amazon Fresh warehouse in Inglewood, California. The company believes the new Prime Fresh service will get people shopping for groceries and other everyday items more frequently from its website. Image Credit: Reuters

Amazon ditches grocery fee in home delivery market battle

San Francisco: Amazon ditched its grocery delivery fee on Tuesday in the retail giant's latest attempt to corner the home delivery market, putting pressure on competitors such as rival Walmart.

The company said it was dropping the additional $15 monthly fee for existing users of its Amazon Fresh delivery service, which is available through its Prime subscription program.

"Grocery delivery is one of the fastest growing businesses at Amazon, and we think this will be one of the most-loved Prime benefits," said the firm's vice president Stephenie Landry.

Prime membership costs $119 annually and includes video streaming services along with free, fast delivery of many Amazon purchases.

It will now also include delivery of meats, seafood, produce, snacks and household items in some 2,000 towns and cities, according to the Seattle-based company.

"We've also improved delivery speed with one and two-hour options in most Amazon Fresh cities, and we'll continue expanding ultrafast speeds to all cities where the service is available," Amazon said in a blog post.

Amazon owns Whole Foods Market grocery store chain, which offers its own free delivery options.

Offering free delivery throws down the gauntlet to competitors including retail colossus Walmart, which charges a $12.95 monthly fee for the convenience.