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Amazon, Whole Foods capitalize on synergies

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SEATTLE — Amazon has further extended its Prime member savings for Whole Foods Market customers.

The savings were most recently offered to shoppers in 10 states from Hawaii to North Carolina.

Prime members receive an additional 10% off sale items, typically hundreds of products throughout the store, plus exclusive weekly deep discounts on selected popular items.

“From delicious dinner options like shrimp or rotisserie chicken to fresh organic raspberries, we’re offering savings on products customers love and can enjoy with their families,” commented Whole Foods president and chief operating officer A.C. Gallo. “Exclusive deals like the sustainably caught halibut were a huge hit in Florida, and we’re excited to partner with our suppliers to bring Prime members even more discounts on seasonal favorites and everyday staples.”

Deals kicking in this month included organic yellow nectarines and peaches at $1.99 per pound (a savings of $2 per pound), made-in-house pork sausage with no antibiotics at $3.99 per pound (a savings of $3 per pound), wild sustainably caught yellowfin tuna steaks at $15.99 per pound (a saving of $9 per pound), buy-one-get-one-free Annie’s Natural Macaroni & Cheese, Essentia Water 1.5-liter bottles at four for $5, and 50% off self-serve tea cookies by the pound (a one-day sale on June 15).

To start saving, customers can download the Whole Foods app, sign in with their Amazon account and then scan the app’s Prime Code at checkout. Or they can opt in to use their mobile phone number.

Prime member deals are prominently featured in store. Customers can also go to the Whole Foods app to learn about many of the best offers.

Amazon also extended free Prime Now two-hour delivery from Whole Foods in four metropolitan areas: Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia and Richmond, Va. It launched the service earlier this year with plans for continued expansion throughout the country in 2018. Eligible Prime members also receive 5% back on Whole Foods purchases when using the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card.

Amazon announced its acquisition of Whole Foods a year ago for some $13.5 billion and closed the deal in August. Whole Foods’ traffic has climbed about 3% year over year in every quarter since, according to an analysis by Thasos Group. The growth came after two consecutive years of disappointing results prior to the acquisition. The analysis found that Trader Joe’s and Sprouts shoppers were the keenest to try out Whole Foods after the acquisition to see the price cuts, with 8% of their regular customers visiting the rival chain.

Foot traffic to Whole Foods increased 17% year over year during the week of the price cuts beginning on August 28, Thasos found. The largest percentages of Whole Foods’ new customers during that week were regular customers of three competing chains: Walmart (24%), Kroger Co. (16%), and Costco Wholesale Corp. (15%).

The new customers Whole Foods attracted were the wealthiest regular customers of the competing stores, noted Thasos. The price cuts did not attract a lower-income demographic or incentivize longer driving times to reach Whole Foods’ stores, it said.


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