A year after Amazon bought Whole Foods in a $13.5 billion deal, the big winner of the acquisition so far has turned out to be Amazon Prime Members.
According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, Whole Food stores are giving lots of perks to Prime members, including signs across the store indicating lower prices for Prime members, Amazon pickup lockers which can be found at an increasing rate at Whole Food stores and expanded deals and discounts for customers who pay for a yearly subscription. More of the stores even have Amazon delivery stations outside with online delivery expanding into new markets. Amazon is also hawking its devices at Whole Foods and promotions for Prime adorn the aisle of most stores. Last week Amazon increased the markets for free two-hour delivery of Whole Foods groceries to Prime subscribers into 14 more cities, with more than half of the Whole Foods stores offering Prime members 10 percent off sale items. As a result of all the efforts, the Wall Street Journal reported Whole Foods is luring customers back.
Prime is a big driver of the increased traffic to Whole Foods, with Morgan Stanley estimating that around 60 percent of the Whole Food shoppers are also Prime members. At the same time that more Amazon devices are landing on Whole Food store shelves, Amazon is selling more of Whole Foods products on its website and is prominently displaying them. Its also helping drive sales of 365 Everyday Value, Whole Food’s private label products. Sales of those have grown as a percentage of purchases since Amazon acquired Whole Foods, noted the Wall Street Journal. While Whole Foods is getting more traffic, the report noted the benefit to the bottom line has been mixed. Year-over-year sales are up around 3 percent since the deal was completed, but sales per customers are down around 1 percent.