How Smart Shoppers Will Save at Amazon's Whole Foods


Amazon is looking to repeat its e-commerce success in the grocery vertical. Its recent acquisition of Whole Foods brought sweeping and immediate changes to the notoriously pricey grocery chain by taking a page from Amazon's traditional playbook — slashing prices. Here are details on the price changes that were implemented, and how you can cash in while shopping.

Look for the signs

All over Whole Foods stores, you can now find tags and large signage that clearly explain the recent price drops that Amazon has implemented. The produce market of Whole Foods, opulent and historically expensive, is one of the hallmarks of the chain. It makes perfect sense that Amazon would begin there. Certain varieties of apples have dropped a full dollar per pound, from $2.99 to $1.99. Avocados, which have been extra pricey this summer due to crop shortages in California and Mexico, have dropped, too, from $2.50 a piece to $1.49. Bananas dropped from $0.79 to $0.49 per pound, and lean ground beef dropped from $10.99 per pound to $6.99.

Overall, prices have dropped an average of 43 percent on the store's most popular items. To find the best deals in-store, be on the lookout for these signs and tags.

Lock it up

One of the signature benefits of being an Amazon shopper is a relatively easy return policy on many items. Amazon will start placing Amazon lockers in select Whole Foods locations where you can drop off your packages for easy returns, and also pick up packages that you order if you don't want them shipped to your home. This makes it more convenient for people to shop both brands in one, while having a single location where returns can be managed. (Lockers are ideal for people who aren't home during the day and don't have a doorman to collect their packages. With Amazon Lockers, there is less of a chance of packages being lost or stolen off of your doorstep.)

Shop Whole Foods products from Amazon

Amazon is in the process of adding Whole Foods private label brand items to the website for ordering through Prime Pantry, Prime Fresh, and Prime Now delivery programs. The Whole Foods private label brands include 365 Everyday Value and Whole Foods Market. They have long been touted as the best deals in the store. Now Amazon is elevating them even higher by making them available online.

Become a Prime member

Amazon is crafting big plans to integrate Amazon Prime into the Whole Foods shopping experience to further enrich the Prime program. Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, said in a recent statement that Amazon Prime will become the customer rewards program at Whole Foods and will trigger lower prices and other benefits for Prime members over time. Whole Foods created a pilot customer rewards program of its own in the Philadelphia and Dallas/Fort Worth areas, but it never took off nationwide. Amazon provides an opportunity to change that with a quick solution that already has a large and loyal user base. (See also: 7 Amazon Prime Perks You've Forgotten to Use)

We're in the early days of Amazon's ownership of Whole Foods. What's clear is that the two brands intend to continue co-inventing ways to improve the shopping experience, provide enhanced value to customers, and compete with innovation in a traditional market.

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