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    Amazon axes free grocery delivery on Prime orders under USD150

    NEW YORK (AP) – Amazon is axing free grocery delivery for Prime members on orders less than USD150.

    Customers who get their groceries delivered from Amazon Fresh – and pay less than USD150 – will be charged between USD3.95 and USD9.95, depending on the order size, the company said in an e-mail to Prime members recently.

    The new policy starts on 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 e-mail.

    Launched in 2005, Prime has over 200 million members worldwide who pay USD139 a year, or USD14.99 a month, for faster shipping and other perks, such as free delivery and returns.

    An Amazon Fresh grocery store in Warrington, Pennsylvania in the United States. PHOTO: AP

    Currently, the company offers members free grocery deliveries on orders above USD35, with the exception of New York, where it’s USD50.

    Under the new policy, the company said delivery charges will be USD3.95 for orders between USD100-USD150, USD6.95 for orders of USD50 to USD100, and USD9.95 for orders under USD50.

    Amazon Fresh deliveries over USD150 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 United States 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 this month that it will lay off 18,000 workers.

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