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Businesses The Almighty Buck

Amazon Offers Whole Foods Discounts To Prime Members (reuters.com) 147

Amazon-owned Whole Foods debuted a loyalty program on Wednesday that offers special discounts to Prime members, including 10 percent off hundreds of sale items and rotating weekly specials. "The new loyalty strategy will test whether Amazon's $13.7 billion deal for Whole Foods brings much-feared disruption and an intensified price war to the $800 billion U.S. grocery industry dominated by Walmart and Kroger," reports Reuters. From the report: Those perks are available now in Florida and will roll out to all other stores starting this summer. Amazon previously announced free two-hour delivery from Whole Foods stores for members of Prime, its subscription club with fast shipping and video streaming. The new perks could make Whole Foods cheaper than conventional grocers for about 8 million of its customers who already subscribe to Amazon Prime, according to Morgan Stanley analysts. Prime members scan an app or input their phone numbers at checkout to receive the discounts.
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Amazon Offers Whole Foods Discounts To Prime Members

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  • Local chain here... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by b0s0z0ku ( 752509 ) on Sunday May 20, 2018 @10:07PM (#56644890)
    is cheaper than Whole Foods, has just as much organic produce, and has union workers that aren't treated as disposible tissues to wipe Bezos' butt with. I'd rather support them than a destructive/disruptive company like Amazon...
    • is cheaper than Whole Foods, has just as much organic produce, and has union workers that aren't treated as disposible tissues to wipe Bezos' butt with.

      We have the same thing in my sleep little West Coast town. There's a store, and I don't know how they do it, but they have incredibly low prices on organic food, produce, fruit and meat. Most of it is locally-sourced and there's even a very good wine and coffee selection. They don't have everything all the time, so if you see a good deal on something, you

    • is cheaper than Whole Foods, has just as much organic produce, and has union workers that aren't treated as disposable tissues to wipe Bezos' butt with.

      Ya, but do other customers and the cashiers look at you condescendingly when you don't bring your own reusable shopping totes and ask for paper bags?

      I thought not.

    • is cheaper than Whole Foods

      Not exactly a high bar to set. Whole Foods sells to wealthy folks (not price sensitive) in well to do locations and prices accordingly.

      has just as much organic produce

      You do realize Whole Foods sells more than just organic produce, right? And is the produce they sell of equal quality? My guess is probably not even if it is acceptable.

      and has union workers that aren't treated as disposible tissues to wipe Bezos' butt with.

      I have nothing against unions. My father was a lifelong union member and that one fact alone helped paid for most of my education. I support the unions as a mechanism to fight management abuse and waste. But the simple fact is that many unions have long ago abandoned workers rights as their primary goal and have turned into an extortion racket that only serve to drive up prices for me as the customer with no improvement in customer service or productivity. If management is actually treating the workers badly then unions are a great answer. Problem is that if a union is successful they lose focus and gradually drive up prices and make the company less competitive because they don't know how to cooperate with management.

      So explain to me what your union is doing that makes me care as a customer. I see no evidence that Whole Foods workers are treated worse than workers at other grocery store chains and you certainly haven't provided any. How to they improve prices, customer service, product selection, or in any way improve my experience as a customer?

      I'd rather support them than a destructive/disruptive company like Amazon...

      And I'd rather have a company that actually gives a shit about serving MY needs. Amazon is forcing a whole bunch of companies to step their game up to keep my business. Say what you want about Amazon, they do customer service very well and they provide a lot of value and are constantly improving and adding services. Companies that do not adopt a similar attitude deserve to go out of business.

    • Just buy from the business with the cheapest prices or most value. Leave ideas out of this. Ideology, like training users, does not work for macroeconomic matters.

      • Taking the long view, keeping > 1 business in business makes sure that Amazon won't drive competitors out of business and raise prices in future. Too many ecaaaahhhhhhnamists take the short view.

        • by jedidiah ( 1196 )

          Amazon has to manage to get competitive before they can be a threat to anyone. The media lays on the hype like they are trying to make this happen. It's like the last presidential election.

          Amazon Fresh selection sucks. Whole Foods prices suck even with all of these discounts.

          There are no less than 4 chains that sell groceries around here that leave Whole Amazon in the dust. If I want to drive a little there are speciality or upscale grocers that make it absolutely no contest.

    • I don't really understand the "cult of the Whole Foods" market that has been affecting a whole bunch of American grocery shoppers for a long time. I have visited Whole Foods stores maybe three or four times in my life, and every time I did, my jaws dropped looking at the prices there. And the items I was looking at were not some kind of organic, free-range, farmer raised products. Those were ordinary imported cheeses, bottled juices, or beers, the stuff that everyone else sells. Moreover, wherever I lived,

    • If you get their credit card, you get 5% back on all your Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. If you assume you would otherwise get 1% back on other typical rewards cards, that's still 4% more. You need to spend $60/week to come out ahead. Anyone who shops at Whole Foods on a regular basis already does that, so Prime saves money.

      Even if you had a 2% rewards card, you would need to spend $80/week. Prime still saves money.

      And that's just for the grocery shopping alone, ignoring the various other benefits.

  • if Prime video services worked on my non Fire android box.
    (and Prime didn't increase in price 10-20% every year)

    Or if a Whole Foods existed closer than 500 miles from where I lived.

    Or if there weren't 2 organic farm stores less than 1/2 mile from my house with prices less than 1/4 the local stores prices.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Solandri ( 704621 )

      if Prime video services worked on my non Fire android box.

      Amazon isn't in control of that. Hollywood is. They insist that streaming video services be encrypted in one of two ways.

      • As a software player on a general purpose computing device (i.e. a PC). In this case, Hollywood requires the video stream decryption happen inside an encrypted virtual machine so you don't simply save a copy of the decrypted video before it's sent to your video card. That's why Amazon, Netflix, Hulu in a browser requires Fla
      • by lucm ( 889690 )

        if Prime video services worked on my non Fire android box.

        Amazon isn't in control of that. Hollywood is.

        So Hollywood is forcing Amazon streaming to be a piece of shit on non-Amazon devices, but somehow lets Netflix provide high quality streaming even on my grandmother's bloatware ridden Dell Platitude bought at best buy more than a decade ago?

      • by AvitarX ( 172628 )

        Amazon chooses not to cast to Chromecast not because of Hollywood, but because of corporate struggle.

        It's annoying, because I need to do a sloppy screen cast to watch Amazon prime shows on my TV, but it's not Hollywood's fault. I can't cast the Amazon funded shows either.

  • Fraud for traffic? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by John.Banister ( 1291556 ) * on Sunday May 20, 2018 @11:05PM (#56645106) Homepage
    Inputting the phone number of a prime member at checkout sounds like a big opportunity for fraud, so I have to think that this is a loss leading measure to drive traffic to those stores. I suppose they'll never tell us how much it helps.
    • No problem - I know the phone numbers of quite a few Prime members. No need to give them my own...

    • Why is Amazon doing this more fraudulent than other stores taking phone numbers to verify their loyalty account rather than expecting customers to memorize an obscure membership number?

      • I wasn't suggesting that Amazon is acting in a fraudulent manner. I was suggesting that they're making themselves vulnerable to fraudulent customer behavior. Because prime memberships are purchased, this is more similar to Costco or Sam's Club letting people check out using a phone number rather than a membership card than it is to Kroger or Wal-Mart taking a phone number instead of a free loyalty card.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 21, 2018 @12:13AM (#56645282)

    and in nearly every market, big and small.

    grocery is the lion's share of walmart's business. they ring up a half trillion annually in revenues. over 55% of sales is grocery. walmart sells more *grocery* than amazon does in total sales of *everything*. walmart knows grocery. they know grocery shoppers. they have leverage with manufacturers that would make even bezos wet between the legs.

    not a fan of walmart (or amazon, for that matter)... but this is one area amazon cannot compete in, not yet and not for a long time, not even with whole foods. they aren't going to open thousands of 100,000 square foot stores coast-to-coast. they aren't going to ship 100s of billions worth of grocery orders, including perishables (including frozen, refrigerated, produce and deli), every year, either.

    about the only thing that might, possibly, put a dent in walmart's stranglehold of the american grocery market would be a partnership between something like costco, target, and a kroger and/or a national grocery wholesaler like supervalu that has their own stores *and* distributes to other chains and independents located in a lot of the same markets (of all sizes) that walmart operates in. even that would be a long-shot.. walmart isn't going to give up any market position willingly.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      If Walmart was in competition with Whole Foods, you'd have a great point.

      The real value for Amazon is that they now have a store presence for their online grocery org (Amazon Fresh), gain increased product lines by assuming Whole Food's vendor list, as well as Whole Food's internal line of products, and they can now turn each Whole Foods location into a fulfillment center, thus further expanding the reach of Amazon Fresh.

      I'm sure the Walton family is terrified over Amazon. I doubt that Bezos loses

  • Every single store does this where I live, in a different form. You get points onto your plastic card, which you can use for further purchases. Every item is priced up, unless you are a loyal buyer.
  • The new perks could make Whole Foods cheaper than conventional grocers

    Is there a difference? The produce section of WF has little signs "conventionally grown in Mexico" on most of the veggies. There is a very, very small section of organic food.

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