Amazon will build more Whole Foods stores to expand Prime Now

The grocery chain may be a Trojan horse for Amazon's delivery service.

Amazon hasn't been shy about using Whole Foods stores to hawk its own wares, but now it's apparently building stores with that primarily in mind. Wall Street Journal sources have learned that the internet giant aims to build and enlarge Whole Foods locations around the US to put more people within reach of Prime Now's two-hour deliveries. The ultimate aim is to make Prime Now available at "nearly all" of Whole Foods' 475 US stores (plus new shops) where it's only available in slightly over 60 cities today.

The exact locations aren't known, but Whole Foods staff have reportedly explored stores in places the chain doesn't operate, such as places in Idaho, southern Utah and Wyoming.

Amazon and Whole Foods have declined to comment.

It's not a completely outlandish move for Amazon. Whole Foods is already using Prime as a lure for customers, and it's no great stretch to use the store as a fulfillment center on the side. Still, there's a difference between using existing stores for deliveries and building them for the sake of deliveries. In that light, Whole Foods is quickly becoming a Trojan horse for Amazon that just happens to offer conventional grocery shopping.