Yesterday, Amazon announced the news that many people had expected: Prime members will get discounts at all Whole Foods stores in the United States, starting Wednesday, June 27. It’s not a blanket discount, but a 10 percent cut on “hundreds of sale items” as well as “deep discounts on select popular products,” according to a release.
The move continues the integration of Whole Foods into the Amazon ecosystem, following the $13.7 billion sale of the upscale grocer to the e-commerce giant last year. Earlier in 2018, Amazon began testing free 2-hour grocery delivery for Prime customers in four markets, and news of the latest discount rollout follows a six-week test period in Florida, which Amazon deemed a success.
Still, the increased discounting doesn’t completely answer the bigger question of how the splashy Whole Foods acquisition will affect the food industry. In the release, Amazon touts savings of $5 per pound of “baby back pork ribs, animal welfare rated and no antibiotics,” among other bullet points intended to highlight the benefits of joining Amazon Prime for conscious shoppers and home cooks. And it’s certainly a new piece of the puzzle that includes the automation of grocery stores (see: Amazon Go) and the convenience of grocery delivery. But will this news trickle down the supply chain, forcing rival grocery stores to cut prices as well, thus making it harder for purveyors and producers to make a buck?
That may become the million dollar question attached to the billion-dollar deal. But for now, paying the $119 annual fee for Amazon Prime gets you free shipping from Amazon.com, lots of TV shows and movies on its app, and now cheaper wild salmon at Whole Foods.
For more details on the new Whole Foods pricing, Amazon has set up a website on how to take advantage of it.