After several weeks of speculation, the news broker earlier this month that Amazon is planning new Whole Foods benefits for its Prime members. According to a CNBC report, “the new perks will bring the might of Amazon’s membership program to the grocery industry, folding Whole Foods into a network other grocers are struggling to compete with.”
The report also stated that about 75 percent of Whole Foods shoppers are Amazon Prime members, but less than 20 percent of Amazon Prime members shop at Whole Foods.
Sources told CNBC that Whole Foods will begin offering Prime members an additional 10 percent off of already discounted products. The discount would be in addition to perks that have already been rolled out, including free delivery of Whole Foods products to Prime members in certain locations, 5 percent cash back when members use the Prime Visa rewards card at Whole Foods stores, and other exclusive member deals.
The news of these new perks has come at nearly the same time Amazon announced a $20 annual fee increase for Prime membership, and a couple weeks after Whole Foods announced the end of its loyalty program.
For food retailers, the new perks turn Whole Foods into a more formidable competitor, expanding its reach well beyond its 400 store footprint and combating the grocer’s major weakness – high prices.