Whole Foods Rolls out Amazon Prime Discounts in Advance of Price Hike
UPDATE: Amazon continues to roll out their new Prime-member-based Whole Foods rewards program in advance of the June 16 membership price hike. Starting tomorrow, June 13, Prime-centric benefits will become available within Whole Foods stores across 23 different states. Members will get an extra 10 percent off all sale items in stores as well as exclusive offers on many different products.
New areas where Prime members can save while shopping at Whole Foods include Alabama, Arizona, Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee and Washington. As previously reported, Prime benefits have been made available at all Whole Foods Market 365 stores across the nation.
While one Whole Foods executive told Supermarket News that Prime savings are coming "just in time for summer," the Prime perk to cash in on discounts at Whole Foods is also being touted as one of the main reasons why Amazon is justifying a new price hike for the membership.
Some of the first deals available to Prime customers at Whole Foods include a sale of fresh peaches at just $1.99 per pound, yellowfin tuna steaks at $15.99 per pound, buy-one-get-one free on Annie's Natural Macaroni and Cheese, and 50 percent off bulk tea cookies available by the pound on June 15.
Right before canceling the old Whole Foods rewards program for shoppers, Amazon not-so-subtly tested promotional signs for Prime-member discounts in one Austin location that ended up alerting some shoppers to their new rewards program. But before the e-commerce giant officially confirmed the new Prime-centric rewards for loyal Whole Foods customers, they also upped the cost of being a Prime member to $120 annually.
Which is why we're not surprised to see Amazon rolling out new Prime perks, now available in more than 120 Whole Foods locations across 12 different states, before the new subscription rate kicks in on June 16. Industry analysts are speculating that Amazon is speeding up the deployment of the Whole Foods rewards program to help ease the blowback of raising subscription prices, Fast Company reports.
Starting today, the Prime member perks, which include an additional 10 percent off all sale items and weekly specials, are available in stores located within Arkansas, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana, New Mexico, Nevada, California, Oklahoma, Texas, and Florida, which was the first state to enjoy pilot testing of the new program.
The new rewards system involves a procedure already commonplace at other major national retailers—scanning of a rewards card, which, in this case, is the shopper's Amazon Prime account available on their mobile phones or synced to their phone numbers. Within 24 hours of Amazon's decision to test the program in Florida, the Whole Foods app required to take advantage of these discounts became the 18th most downloaded app in Apple's App Store, Yahoo reports.
In addition to reports of Amazon products infiltrating the aisles of Whole Foods' nationwide, the Prime rewards program at Whole Foods means you'll see Prime representatives in Whole Foods stores sooner rather than later. Yahoo reports that they'll be there to answer any questions that customers might have about Amazon's tie-in into the grocery store, and most likely will try to convince loyal Whole Foods shoppers to sign up for Amazon's ever-growing membership program, which currently has more than 100 million subscribers across the globe.