Ama­zon to give Prime mem­bers ex­tra dis­counts at Whole Foods

The Trentonian (Trenton, NJ) - - NEWS - By Joseph Pisani Con­tact Joseph Pisani at http://twit­ joseph­pisani

NEW YORK » It’s Prime time at Whole Foods: Ama­zon said it will give its Prime mem­bers ex­tra dis­counts at the gro­cery chain.

The new ben­e­fits started Wed­nes­day at Whole Foods stores in Florida and will ex­pand na­tion­wide this sum­mer. Prime mem­bers get an ad­di­tional 10 per­cent off sale items and ex­clu­sive deals on cer­tain items. This week in Florida, for ex­am­ple, Prime mem­bers can get $2 off a pound of or­ganic straw­ber­ries or save $10 a pound on wild hal­ibut steaks.

Ama­zon wouldn’t say if it plans to add the ben­e­fits to Whole Foods stores in Canada and the United King­dom.

In bring­ing Prime to Whole Foods, Ama­zon is try­ing to give mem­bers an­other rea­son to stay on as sub­scribers — even as it raises the price — and try to lure those who aren’t to join. The dis­counts could also drive more peo­ple to shop at Whole Foods: When it of­fered turkey dis­counts last year for Prime mem­bers, Ama­zon said the gro­cer broke its record for tur­keys sold dur­ing the Thanks­giv­ing sea­son.

Ama­zon said last month that it had more than 100 mil­lion paid Prime mem­bers world­wide, be­fore it an­nounced it would in­crease the price to $119 a year from $99. Prime mem­bers get fast ship­ping from Ama­ and other perks, like ac­cess to its video stream­ing ser­vice.

The on­line re­tailer has made a num­ber of changes to Whole Foods since it bought the chain last year. It cut prices on ba­nanas, milk and some other gro­ceries; ex­tended its 5 per­cent cash back Ama­zon re­wards credit card to Whole Foods pur­chases; and has started to of­fer two-hour gro­cery de­liv­ery in sev­eral cities through its Prime Now ser­vice. Whole Foods ended its pre­vi­ous loy­alty pro­gram ear­lier this month, and Ama­zon CEO Jeff Be­zos said in April that “tech­ni­cal work” was be­ing done at the cashiers to rec­og­nize Prime mem­bers.

Ama­zon said Wed­nes­day that shop­pers could scan the Whole Foods app at the reg­is­ter or give the cashier their phone num­ber to show that they’re Prime mem­bers.

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