>> Whole Foods, whole paycheck? Amazon, the new owner of Whole Foods is hoping to kick that image, and Wednesday will debut a loyalty program for Amazon Prime members. What's in it, special discounts, and an additional 10% off hundreds of items. Reuters correspondent Jeffrey Dastin.>> These discounts will test whether Amazon's $13.7 billion deal for Whole Foods will indeed bring the much feared disruption to the US grocery industry.
Walmart and Kroger remain the leaders in the US grocery industry, both on price and also in terms of market share, but Whole Foods is trying to challenge that. The CEO of Whole Foods told Reuters that sales are up since the merger, and also a closely watched metric, basket size, or the number of items that customers purchase per transaction, is also up.
>> The latest offerings will come on top of other perks, like Prime Now's two hour delivery, and cash back on purchases made with Amazon-linked credit cards.>> Amazon is famous for operating a number of businesses at a low profit margin, and many people expect it will do the same for Whole Foods, which is equally famous for operating with a large profit margin.
So we'll see the price cuts come to affect the overall profitability of Whole Foods, but it doesn't matter technically for Amazon, because what the online retailer cares the most about is just getting more shoppers and also enabling deliveries through Whole Foods stores.>> As for Walmart and Kroger, Whole Foods' two biggest rivals, they say bring on the competition.
Walmart's spokesman says it will continue to offer everyday low prices to all shoppers. And Kroger's CEO told Reuters, he's sure his chain's prices will absolutely be lower than Whole Foods on the typical shopper's basket. Whole Foods' new Amazon Prime loyalty program rolls out first in Florida, and for the rest of us this summer.