Since it bought Whole Foods past year, Amazon.com Inc. has cut prices on some groceries, begun offering same-day delivery to Prime members in several cities and extended its 5 percent cash back Amazon rewards credit card to Whole Foods purchases.
Amazon is offering Prime members 10 percent discounts on select items at Whole Foods stores in Florida, the first step in a program Amazon expects to implement nationwide this summer.
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.
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The following deals will be offered to Prime members in Florida stores from May 16 through May 22.
The move - which Amazon had been planning even before it closed the $13.5 billion acquisition of the organic grocer in August - is the latest link between Whole Foods and Amazon's broader commerce empire. "Well they are, if they only buy the handful of good deals on the card and nothing else", said David Livingston of DJL Research, a grocery industry market research firm. Amazon wouldn't say if it plans to add the benefits to Whole Foods stores in Canada and the United Kingdom. That could be a lure for Prime members who already shop Whole Foods, but could push price-conscious shoppers further away from the chain, given its existing reputation for high prices. Plus, Amazon Prime members get 5 percent back on Whole Foods purchases with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card, the companies announced earlier this year.
To take advantage of the new program, Prime members will need the Whole Foods mobile app, where they sign in with their Amazon account and then scan the app's "Prime Code" barcode at checkout to apply the appropriate discounts. Technical difficulties have prevented Amazon from integrating Prime into Whole Foods locations as quickly as executives hoped, one source says. Customers can also go to the Whole Foods Market app to learn about offers each week.