Amazon and its grocery store chain Whole Foods announced this morning that savings for Prime members will make their way to ten more stores across the U.S. this week, including Arizona, Georgia, Oregon, North Carolina and Washington, among others. The tie-up gives Amazon shoppers another reason to join the Prime membership program – 10 percent off on-sale grocery items at Whole Foods, and other deeper discounts on a weekly basis.
The discount program was first announced in mid-May, starting in Florida, with promises to soon expand across all U.S. Whole Foods Market and Whole Foods Market 365 stores throughout the summer. Amazon has been making good on that goal, with a rollout to 12 more states, including California, Texas and Colorado later that same month.
The company today says the Whole Foods discounts have reached the following markets: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri (Kansas City only), Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington.
By the end of this week, Amazon says it expects the Prime member savings to reach nearly half its Whole Foods Market stores.
The expansion is moving at a faster pace than planned, it seems.
In the company’s announcement, Whole Foods Market President and COO A.C. Gallo noted that the timeline for the rollout of the Prime savings has been accelerated – something attributed to “positive customer feedback and successes,” it saw over the past month.
However, the reality is that Amazon-Whole Foods is seeing continued competition from Walmart Grocery, which is more affordable without a membership and offers curbside pickup, as well as from other grocery delivery services, like Instacart.
Meanwhile, Target has been expanding its own grocery delivery business, Shipt, across the Southeast and Midwest at a rapid pace as it prepares to go coast-to-coast. And it’s expanding its Drive Up curbside service for everyday items, though for now excluding fresh and frozen groceries. The retailer has plans to remodel over 1,000 of its stores, too, in order to better accommodate the new ways people shop – like offering bigger Order Pickup counters and more space for Drive Up orders.
Amazon needs a stake in the grocery business to remain competitive, but it also needed a way to bring Whole Foods’ high prices down to drive loyalty, given its reputation for costly groceries. (“Whole Paycheck” was the joke.) Rebranding the price cuts as a Prime member benefit seems to be a good way to go about that.
The savings are available by providing your Amazon account’s phone number at checkout, or by using the updated Whole Foods app.
The Whole Foods discounts are also available through Amazon Prime Now delivery in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, Denver, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco. Two-hour delivery on orders over $35 is free for Prime members, and will reach more cities throughout the year.