Published: Thu, November 16, 2017
Economy | By Shawn Conner

Amazon is cutting prices at Whole Foods again

Amazon is cutting prices at Whole Foods again

On the heels of its $13.7 billion acquisition by Amazon, Whole Foods Market is giving us a glimpse at the price breaks it will be extending to members of Amazon Prime. Once the transaction kicked in, items such as organic avocados, organic brown eggs, organic salmon, almond butter, organic apples and organic rotisserie chicken enjoyed price reductions. A Whole Foods representative told CNBC that cashiers will identify Amazon Prime members when customers present coupons sent via email. The same day that the deal closed, Whole Foods and Amazon promised to cut prices immediately on an array of Whole Foods items.

In an announcement, Whole Foods says that it's lowering prices on select organic turkeys to $3.49 per pound, and on no-antibiotic turkeys to $2.49 per pound, starting now.

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Whole Foods also announced it is cutting prices on boneless skinless chicken breasts, shrimp, Russet potatoes, bagged salad mixes, broccoli, organic eggs and milk from Organic Valley, Applewood hot dogs, and Chobani and Fage yogurt.

Amazon says it's trying to make Whole Foods "affordable for everyone", helping the grocer shed its "Whole Paycheck" reputation.

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Big-box chains that also sell groceries like Target (TGT) and Wal-Mart (WMT) were down 9% and 0.6%, respectively, after Target gave a disappointing earnings outlook and warned of a "highly competitive" holiday quarter. Sprouts Farmers Market (SFM), which turned out strong Q3 results despite Whole Foods' earlier price cuts, lost 1.6%. Consumer preferences have also shifted to the fresher items often found on the perimeter of the store, rather than the prepackaged goods in the center aisles. The cheaper prices led to a foot traffic spike at Whole Foods, with many new customers defecting from its rivals.

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But while Target has tested a few new grocery strategies, the results have been "underwhelming", an Edward Jones research note said Wednesday. "We'll continue to work closely together to ensure we're consistently surprising and delighting our customers while moving toward our goal of reaching more people".

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