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Published: Sat, August 26, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Yet Another Perk for Amazon Prime Members

Yet Another Perk for Amazon Prime Members

The list of grocery items that will be cheaper at Whole Foods markets next week ranges from bananas, apples and organic avocados to ground beef, salmon and tilapia, along with organic rotisserie chicken and other products.

Not only will Prime members get in-store benefits and "special savings", but the program will also give customers access to Amazon Lockers at select Whole Foods locations, and the ability to purchase Whole Foods private-label products through Amazon.com, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry and Prime Now.

The benefits of Amazon's backing stand to make shopping at Whole Foods more affordable and convenient, but consumers can also anticipate speedy delivery of groceries to be roped into the deal.

Say goodbye to Whole Foods Market Inc.'s (WFM) 365 stores.

Amazon is making immediate changes to Whole Foods, but other grocers won't feel the impact in the near term, analysts say. In addition, Amazon Prime will have a new secondary goal: a rewards program for Whole Foods products, meaning even more savings.

"It's been our mission for 39 years at Whole Foods Market to bring the highest quality food to our customers", Mackey said in a statement.

Those arguments will probably not assuage a growing chorus of Amazon critics who believe it is developing too powerful a grip on retail spending, at least on the internet.

A major boon: 90% of Amazon Prime subscribers live within 10 miles (16 km) of a Whole Foods store. But I, like many others, soon found that escalating prices that entered into the realm of "ridiculous" hardly justified making it my sole source of groceries.

"Amazon can come in and price items very low", he said. And it will turn them into Amazon customers and advance its bid to become the dominant player in all of retail - the so-called everything store. On Friday, a grocery bag of those items rang up at about $40.50 at Whole Foods - including the chicken on sale for $2 off - compared to under $34 at both Stew Leonard's and Stop & Shop, the former a local favorite and the latter the largest chain operating in southwestern CT. The e-commerce giant has little interest in premium margins. Often called "Whole Paycheck", the company had gained a reputation for its sky-high prices.

Local grocers expressed some trepidation about Amazon's aggressive entry into their business, but said it was part of a long history of upheavals and competition.

Amazon also said it will start selling Whole Foods brand products on its website, a move that sent down shares of packaged food sellers, including Kellogg.

This addresses probably the singular complaint with the healthy grocery chain.

"There was a lot of speculation that Whole Foods might be left as more of an independent entity, at least in the beginning phases of the acquisition", she said.

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