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Whole Foods Opens First Permanent Online-Only Store

Whole Foods, owned by Amazon, opens its first permanent online-only store in Brooklyn to cater to the growing demand for delivery.

Whole Foods Market, the supermarket chain owned by Amazon  (AMZN) - Get Report, opened Tuesday its first permanent online-only store.

The new location, referred to as a "dark store," is destined exclusively to fulfill delivery orders.

The new shop is located in Brooklyn and was conceived to cater to the growing demand for online grocery delivery, which has soared due to the coronavirus outbreak as customers remain cautious of venturing outside their homes. Amazon reported that its grocery deliveries had tripled year over year in the second quarter. 

The new project already had been in the works for more than a year, prior to the pandemic, as Amazon and Whole Foods worked closely to develop their grocery delivery service. 

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The new location will be staffed by hundreds of new employees, who have been hired by Whole Foods Market. 

The Whole Foods store is located in the "Industry City" industrial complex in the Sunset Park neighborhood and will supply orders from the Brooklyn area. 

Many Whole Foods stores had been transformed to only supply online orders during the pandemic but they have since reopened to the public.

In 2007, Amazon, the online retailing and tech giant, launched its first grocery delivery service, and 10 years later the company bought Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. Today, Amazon offers Prime members a free two-hour grocery delivery in more than 2,000 cities across the U.S. 

Hoping to expand within the food industry, Amazon also opened its first Amazon Fresh grocery store in Woodland Hills, California, last week.