Today Amazon announced that it is offering exclusive discounts to Prime members who shop at Whole Foods. Amazon acquired the high-end grocer last year for $13.7 billion. Recently, Amazon shut down Whole Foods’ rewards program and digital coupons. Starting today, the prime members will be able to avail 10 percent off on Whole Foods’ hundreds of sale items, as well as on best sellers they’ll receive other “weekly deep discounts”.
Initially, the savings are rolling out only to the Whole Foods stores in Florida. However, this summer it will expand to all U.S. Whole Foods Market and its 365 stores. Currently, Whole Foods has over 470 stores in the U.S., Canada and U.K. combined. But the majority (463) stores are in the U.S.
Amazon has quickly leveraged its investment in the brick-and-mortar grocery chain. It began slashing prices in Whole Foods’ stores immediately after the acquisition. Amazon already offered special coupons to Prime members helping them save more at times.
Today’s news is now formalizing those prior efforts of benefitting the Prime members with a standard rewards program where the members can get up to 10 percent off on sale items on a consistent basis. This benefit of 10 percent is in addition to other weekly discounts on select items. The items covered in the discount scheme will be labelled with yellow “10% off” sale signs, and “Prime Member Deal” signs.
Cem Sibay, the Vice President of Amazon Prime, in a statement about the discount program’s launch said:
This new Prime benefit at Whole Foods Market is a perfect pairing of healthy and delicious food at even more affordable prices.
Our vision is that every day Prime makes your life better, easier and more fun, and shopping at Whole Foods Market with exclusive deals and savings is all of this and more.
Whole Foods’ customers won’t have to sign up for a loyalty card or clip coupons from a circular unlike other weekly savings offered by other stores. Customers have to join Amazon Prime to enjoy these savings. Prime members will need the Whole Foods mobile app. They’ll need to sign in with their Amazon account and then scan the app’s “Prime Code” barcode at checkout to apply the appropriate discounts. Alternately, the members can opt in to use their phone number at checkout. Amazon has a dedicated site for more information about the discount program – amazon.com/primesavings.
Besides this in-store savings scheme, Amazon has been trying to tie Whole Foods to its larger business through other methodologies too. It launched a two-hour delivery from Whole Foods via Amazon’s Prime Now service in 10 cities across the U.S. It is planning to expand the service further this year. Also, earlier this year the company announced that Amazon Prime members would get 5 percent back on Whole Foods purchases with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card.
The stores serve towards the brick-and-mortar presence for Amazon’s online store. It offers things like Amazon Lockers, support for returns, and the ability to shop Amazon hardware, like Dot and Echo speakers and Fire TV.