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It’s a Prime Day premiere for Whole Foods

Amazon plans exclusive savings for annual shopping event

Now integrated into Amazon Prime, Whole Foods Market is set to make its Prime Day debut.

Amazon said Tuesday that its annual shopping event will kick off on July 16 at 3 p.m. ET and run through July 17. The e-tailer described this year’s Prime Day as “bigger than ever,” now including select deals at all U.S. Whole Foods stores and lasting 36 hours, compared with 30 hours in 2017. Over 1 million deals will be offered worldwide and for the first time will be extended to Prime members in Australia, Singapore, Netherlands and Luxembourg.

At Whole Foods, U.S. Prime members will receive an extra 10% off hundreds of sale items plus deep discounts on select popular products, Amazon said. Customers can download the Whole Foods Market app and scan the Prime Code to start saving.

And from July 14 through 17, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa cardmembers with an eligible Prime membership will get 10% back when shopping at Whole Foods on up to a total of $400 in purchases. That savings is double the standard 5%-back reward for cardholders.

Also new for Prime Day in 2018, Amazon plans 50% more Spotlight Deals globally, which the company said offer the deepest discounts on top brands and its most popular products. The retailer, too, is shipping surprise “Smile Boxes” to customers in major cities around the world — including New York, Los Angeles, London, Tokyo and Milan — in advance of Prime Day to generate more excitement for the shopping event and the benefits offered with a Prime membership.

“Prime members will enjoy a day (and a half) of our best deals, with 36 hours to shop more than one million deals worldwide,” Jeff Wilke, worldwide consumer CEO at Seattle-based Amazon. “New this year, members can shop exclusive Prime Day Launches from hundreds of brands worldwide, enjoy exclusive savings at Whole Foods Market and experience surprise entertainment events unboxed from giant Smile boxes in major cities. More than 100 million paid Prime members around the world will find our best Prime Day celebration yet.”

Whole Foods’ Prime Day premiere comes just weeks after the Austin-based natural grocer announced the availability of Prime member savings at all of its 487 stores in the United States. Amazon initiated Prime savings at Florida Whole Foods stores in mid-May and steadily expanded the benefits — including an additional 10% off sale items and weekly deep discounts on certain top-selling products — to all Whole Foods 365 stores by late May and to Whole Foods stores in select states over the ensuing weeks.

Amazon and Whole Foods also continue to roll out online grocery delivery via the e-tailer’s Prime Now program. Last week, same-day delivery through Prime Now became available at Whole Foods stores in Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis and San Antonio.

Overall, Prime Now delivery from Whole Foods is now offered in 19 cities since being launched in February. Amazon, which acquired Whole Foods last August, has said it plans to roll out free two-hour grocery delivery via Prime Now nationwide in 2018.

As of May 11, Amazon raised the cost of an annual Prime membership to $119 from $99 for new signups. Those renewing memberships began paying the increased price on June 16. However, retail industry observers don’t expect the price hike to slow the growth of the hugely successful Prime program.

In a letter to shareholders in April, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos for the first time quantified Prime’s membership: more than 100 million worldwide. Bezos noted that in 2017 more new members joined Prime than in any previous year, both worldwide and in the U.S., and that on Prime Day 2017 more new members joined the program than on any other day in the company’s history. He said Amazon shipped more than 5 billion items globally via Prime last year, and that U.S. members can get unlimited free two-day shipping on over 100 million items.

Learn more about online grocery shopping/delivery and meal solutions at the inaugural SN Summit, held Oct. 1-3 in Dallas, the only conference where food retailers and restaurateurs learn from each other.

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