Whole Foods, purveyor of kale and other upper middle-class household staples, has been acquired by Amazon, purveyor of everything that can possibly be purveyed. The $14 billion deal has been approved by regulators and will close on Monday. The merger was initially seen by some as an unholy union by some, but it's perfectly in line with Amazon's mission to sell everything it possibly can to everyone it possibly can. Of course, Amazon also has another mission, and that's to get as many people as possible to sign up for Amazon Prime. With its Whole Foods acquisition, it looks like Amazon is about to enjoy a flood of new Prime members.
Prime subscriptions give Amazon steady revenue. Prime members are also more likely to make purchases from Amazon, and they spend more money. In other words, it's not exactly a mystery why Amazon wants to sign up as many people as possible to its Prime program.
Tens of millions of people subscribe to Amazon Prime. If you're not already counted among them, it might be time to sign up for a free 30-day trial because Amazon Prime members are going to get exclusive discounts at Whole Foods. Those discounts could go a long way, of course, considering Whole Foods' high prices.
"Amazon and Whole Foods Market technology teams will begin to integrate Amazon Prime into the Whole Foods Market point-of-sale system, and when this work is complete, Prime members will receive special savings and in-store benefits," Amazon said in its press release on Thursday. "The two companies will invent [sic] in additional areas over time, including in merchandising and logistics, to enable lower prices for Whole Foods Market customers."
Prime discounts will certainly be appreciated by Whole Foods shoppers, and it'll be a great benefit for members. Interestingly, however, regular customers of the high-end supermarket chain might have no choice but to sign up for Prime. Why? Because Amazon plans to ditch the current Whole Foods customer reward program and replace it with Amazon Prime.
From the same press release: "In the future, after certain technical integration work is complete, Amazon Prime will become Whole Foods Market's customer rewards program, providing Prime members with special savings and other in-store benefits."
Of note, Amazon does suggest that it plans to lower prices across the board at Whole Foods, not just for Prime subscribers.
"Starting Monday, Whole Foods Market will offer lower prices on a selection of best-selling staples across its stores, with much more to come," the company said. "Customers will enjoy lower prices on products like Whole Trade bananas, organic avocados, organic large brown eggs, organic responsibly-farmed salmon and tilapia, organic baby kale and baby lettuce, animal-welfare-rated 85% lean ground beef, creamy and crunchy almond butter, organic Gala and Fuji apples, organic rotisserie chicken, 365 Everyday Value organic butter, and much more."