Amazon is taking the next step in its integration with Whole Foods Market, confirming that it will offer 10 percent discounts on Whole Foods sale items and special deals on top grocery items to its more than 100 million Amazon Prime members.
The discount program is starting in Florida this week and will roll out nationwide this summer, the company said Tuesday night. The move comes less than a year after Amazon announced plans to acquire Austin-based Whole Foods for $13.7 billion.
Discounts for Prime members will work through the Whole Foods Market app. Amazon says Prime members will sign into the app using their Amazon accounts, and then scan the “Prime Code” inside the app when they check out at Whole Foods.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos last month disclosed the number of Prime members publicly for the first time, saying the program has more than 100 million members globally.
CNBC, which first reported on a trial of the Whole Foods/Prime discount program earlier this month, cited an anonymous source who said 75 percent of Whole Foods shoppers are Prime members, but less than 20 percent of Prime members shop at Whole Foods. That translates into a big opportunity to boost Whole Foods’ business, if Amazon can use the new discounts to bring more people into stores.
Items eligible for additional Prime member discounts will be designated by special signs in Whole Foods stores. Amazon said the available deals will rotate weekly, and gave these examples of Prime discounts available in Florida starting this week.
- Sustainably-sourced, wild-caught halibut steaks: $9.99/lb., save $10/lb.
- Organic strawberries: 1 lb. for $2.99, save $2
- Cold brew coffee at Allegro coffee bars: 50% off 16 oz.
- KIND granola: 11 oz. bag 2/$6
- 365 Everyday Value sparkling water: 12-pack case buy one, get one free
- Magic Mushroom Powder: 50% off
In addition, the company said Prime members will get an additional 10 percent off hundreds of sale items at Whole Foods Stores.
It’s the latest effort by Amazon to make Whole Foods more affordable, attempting to shed the grocer’s “Whole Paycheck” reputation. Amazon cut prices on many items at Whole Foods upon completing the acquisition last year, as part of its broader push into physical retail stores. However, studies showed that some prices later rose.
Amazon started offering delivery from Whole Foods to Prime customers in selected markets earlier this year. It also offers 5 percent back on all Whole Foods purchases to customers with the Amazon Prime credit card. The company says it ultimately plans to make Amazon Prime the Whole Foods Market customer rewards program.