It's Prime time at Whole Foods: Amazon is rolling out discounts for Prime members at the organic grocer. The benefits start Wednesday at stores in Florida and will expand nationwide this summer, the AP reports. Prime members will get an additional 10% off sale items and exclusive deals on certain groceries. This week in Florida, for example, Prime members can get $2 off a pound of organic strawberries, half off on wild halibut steaks, or buy-one-get-one-free cases of sparkling water. An Amazon VP tells the Wall Street Journal the 10% discount will apply to hundreds or even thousands of items. As for the other specials, "it'll be a good mix of produce, meats, and seafood" each week. To show that they're Prime members, shoppers can scan the Whole Foods app at the register or give the cashier their phone number.
Since it bought Whole Foods last year, Amazon.com Inc. has cut prices on some groceries, started offering same-day delivery to Prime members in several cities, and extended its 5% cash-back Amazon rewards credit card to Whole Foods purchases. But turning its Prime membership into the Whole Foods loyalty program could drive more people to its stores. Amazon said last month that it had more than 100 million paid Prime members worldwide. That was before it announced it's raising the price to $119 a year, up from $99. Prime members get fast shipping from Amazon.com and other perks, like access to its video streaming service. Analysts believe the growth rate of Prime membership is slowing as it has mostly saturated wealthier US households; adding benefits like the Whole Foods discounts could encourage some of the 40% of Amazon shoppers who aren't Prime members to join.