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Amazon has launched a new program at Whole Foods Market, offering Prime members an additional 10% saving off sale items and deep-discounts on selected items.

National roll-out will start this summer

This new program has launched at stores across Florida, with the roll-out to all locations, including Whole Foods Market 365 stores, starting this summer. Each week, Whole Foods Market has several hundred products on promotion which will be eligible for the additional discount. The retailer will also offer exclusive promotions to Prime members, with some of the initial deals featuring buy-one-get-one free offers and half-price products. Prime member deals will be prominently featured in-store and accessed through the Whole Foods Market app.

Source: IGD Research

Momentum building with new initiatives

This is the latest initiative launched by Amazon at the Whole Foods Market stores it acquired last year. Earlier this year, its launched free two-hour delivery on groceries through Prime Now in 10 cities and a 5% cash back program on purchases made though the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card. Amazon lockers have also been introduced into the stores, while selected locations feature a range of Amazon devices.

Understanding the ‘new retail’ model

This new program addresses the perception that many consumers hold with regards to Whole Foods Market’s pricing. This should help improve its competitiveness and drive traffic. Through offering the discount to Prime members, not only will it encourage new sign-ups, but will provide Amazon with visibility into the in-store purchases of its members. This will enable it to offer more personalised offers in the future, particularly as it gains new insights into the interaction between online and offline shopping behaviours.

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Stewart Samuel, Program Director, IGD Canada: based in Canada, Stewart heads up all of IGD's research and coverage on the US market. He is also responsible for shaping IGD's research program across North America. Contact Stewart at [email protected] for further insight on the region's markets, channels and retailers. Follow Stewart on Twitter: @Stewart_IGD

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Amazon, according to reports from CNBC, has made a formal offer to buy 60% of Flipkart, its biggest ecommerce rival in India.

Amazon continuously investing in India

Amazon has been investing in India to expand its product ranges and to ship goods to shoppers faster. It also reportedly offered to buy a 51% to 55% stake in Flipkart two years ago.

A new battle with Walmart

It was reported last month that Walmart was close to buying a majority stake in Flipkart. Amazon’s offer could start a new battle between it and Walmart, which is also trying to gain a greater foothold in India.

Sign up here for our free newsletter to get the latest updates on Asia.

Amazon has announced that it is raising Prime membership fees from $99 to $119 a year.

The new pricing will be effective from 11th May.

Follows increased monthly fee

The price hike is the first time in four years that Amazon has raised Prime annual fees, when customers paid $79 a year in 2014.

Amazon also increased the monthly subscription fee in January by almost 20%, from $10.99 to $12.99.

The new annual membership cost is still a better deal than the monthly subscription fee, which would amount to $155.99 a year.

Rising shipping costs

Amazon has said that it is raising prices because Prime membership is growing too rapidly. Offering Prime has become more expensive due to increased shipping costs.

Amazon recently revealed that the company has over 100 million Prime members, a statistic that has not been disclosed before. In 2017 Amazon gained more new Prime members than in any previous year, and over five billion items were shipped with Prime.

This price rise will significantly boost Amazon's earnings, which are in a strong position according to recently announced Q1 results.

Read our Amazon strategic outlook report here.



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