For those of us wondering whether Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods Market would mean cheaper grocery bills, it looks like we've finally got our answer.
Amazon announced Thursday that starting Monday, Aug. 28, when the acquisition deal closes, "Whole Foods Market will offer lower prices on a selection of best-selling staples across its stores, with much more to come."
Another interesting tidbit that could mean big savings on your food bill? The company also dropped that its Amazon Prime members will get "special savings and other in-store benefits" in the future.
Right now, the online giant is working on integrating its systems so that Amazon Prime becomes Whole Foods' first major customer rewards program. Whole Foods has long eschewed a rewards program — and the clunky keychain tags that traditionally go with them — though it did have one in testing phases in the Dallas/Ft. Worth and Philadelphia areas.
As for Monday's price drops, the staples seeing an immediate decrease include organic varieties of avocado, large brown eggs, baby kale and lettuce, Gala and Fuji apples, rotisserie chicken, and "responsibly farmed salmon and tilapia," as well as Whole Trade bananas, creamy and crunchy almond butter, "animal-welfare-rated" 85 percent lean ground beef.
“We’re determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone," said Jeff Wilke, CEO of AmazonWorldwide Consumer, in a statement. "We will lower prices without compromising Whole Foods Market’s long-held commitment to the highest standards."
The companies intend to lower prices by "inventing" in the areas of merchandising and logistics, they added. Over time, Whole Foods Market private-label lines — such as 365 Everyday Value, Whole Foods Market, Whole Paws and Whole Catch — will also roll out on Amazon.com, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry and Prime Now, the company added. (If you aren't a Prime Member, now's the time to join to get free two-day shipping and access to all of these new benefits!)
Back in June, Amazon announced its intentions to scoop up Whole Foods Market for $13.4 billion. The deal cleared two big regulatory approvals this week, and is set to close Monday.
Amazon has long shown an interest in the food business — it's even testing a drive-through grocery store in Seattle.
One thing to look for: Amazon Lockers will start popping up in Whole Foods Market stores. The idea is that customers can send back returns or pick up online orders while grocery shopping — just when you thought you couldn't possibly have any more Amazon boxes piling up at home.
TODAY’s editorial team decided to bring you this report on Whole Foods & Amazon. TODAY has affiliate relationships, so we may get a small share of the revenue from your purchases. Items are sold by the retailer, not by TODAY. All prices are subject to change and items could sell out based on the merchant’s inventory.