Whole Foods Rewards Program Will Fold into Amazon Prime
AUSTIN, TX - In an email to members of its loyalty program, Whole Foods announced that it will discontinue its rewards program, online accounts, and digital coupons beginning May 2nd. Rather than continue with its own loyalty benefits, the grocer will fold its program into Amazon Prime, according to MarketWatch.
“Stay tuned for additional announcements for Amazon Prime members,” the company teased on its FAQ page focused on digital coupons, rewards, and online accounts. “Any account benefits, including membership and/or unused rewards, will not roll into any future programs.”
Jeffries analysts commented on the potential impact of the shift, including those led by Christopher Mandeville.
“Having already observed reasonable success with recent actions, not to mention robust media coverage, investors should be mindful that pending announced of a Prime-based program would carry obvious headline risk for grocers and serve as a reminder of how competitive the market has become,” they wrote in a note.
Other analysts at Jeffries theorize that though Amazon initiatives, since the purchase of Whole Foods, may have disgruntled some suppliers, particularly local producers—as we reported on here and here—the efforts are indicative of an industry-wide shift towards a more consumer-focused business model. Another sign of this shift appears in Whole Foods', possibly related, move towards granting Amazon Prime members a 10 percent discount.
“Such news of Whole Foods Market’s point of sale finally being married with Prime, which would allow for Amazon to obtain greater purchasing insights and accelerate its strategy conveying value to core customers with unique offers, heightens competitive pressures for all grocers, in our view,” the Jefferies note said.
How will this move change Whole Foods? How will the rest of the market respond? Stay with us at AndNowUKnow as we search for the answers.