Amazon cuts Whole Foods prices for Prime members

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Since it bought Whole Foods a year ago, Amazon.com Inc. has cut prices on some groceries, begun offering same-day delivery to Prime members in several cities and extended its 5 percent cash back Amazon rewards credit card to Whole Foods purchases.

Amazon Prime Vice President Cem Sibay said Florida was chosen as the first state for new the Prime program because Whole Foods has a large presence in the Sunshine State, with 28 stores, including 11 in Broward and Miami-Dade South Florida.

Whole Foods now has over 470 stores in the U.S., Canada and United Kingdom combined, but the majority - 463 - are in the U.S.

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CNBC, which first reported on a trial of the Whole Foods/Prime discount program earlier this month, cited an anonymous source who said 75 percent of Whole Foods shoppers are Prime members, but less than 20 percent of Prime members shop at Whole Foods. These will be labeled in store with yellow "10% off" sale signs, and "Prime Member Deal" signs, respectively.

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Amazon appears set to open its second and third queue free grocery stores in Chicago and San Francisco, a sign that the e-commerce giant is ready to start scaling up its wildly successful supermarket concept.

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To get the benefits, Prime members will need to download the Whole Foods app on their phone and input their Prime information. But turning its Prime membership into the Whole Foods loyalty program could drive more people to its stores.

The discount program is Amazon's latest effort to connect the two companies.

Past year the Seattle-based business purchased grocery giant Whole Foods in the USA to supercharge its efforts in the category, but it appears the Go concept is being kept separate from that investment. Customers can also go to the Whole Foods Market app to learn about offers each week.

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"We're thrilled for Whole Foods Market to be part of the Prime experience", said John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods Market.

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