Amazon plans to slash prices on hundreds of items at Whole Foods stores in an attempt to attract customers and change the brand's image as a high-priced grocery store, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The lower prices will affect 500 plus products and will mostly focus on meat and produce. In February, Whole Foods actually raised prices due to high transport and ingredient costs.
Amazon bought Whole Foods in 2017 for $14 billion, and it plans to initiate the price cuts on Wednesday (April 3). Some items will be discounted as much as 20 percent.
Amazon wants to fight back against Whole Foods’ reputation that it’s expensive and out of reach for the average consumer, especially while other retailers like Walmart and Kroger are keeping prices down. Amazon is also planning to open a different, independent grocery store as well, possibly later this year.
In an effort to prepare for the new price schemes, some Whole Foods employees are reportedly being asked to work overnight to get the stores ready, hanging signs and switching price tags.
The price cuts will last at least through the end of the year, and they’ll include all kinds of products. Organic rainbow carrots, for example, will be reduced by $1 to $1.99, and Black Forest ham is going to be reduced $3 a pound, to $9.99.
The cuts were kept secret and few workers even knew they were coming. Amazon has slashed prices at the store before, on avocados, eggs and other items, and last year it started a 10 percent discount program for Prime members.
Amazon plans to continue to offer perks to Prime members by doubling weekly Prime member discounts. It also introduced free delivery in some 60 markets.
The company hasn’t enticed as many Prime members to come into Whole Foods as some experts expected it would. A recent survey of 1,668 shoppers shows that only 11 percent of Prime members shop at Whole Foods, while 65 percent said they visit Amazon’s website that often.