Owned by online-retail giant Amazon, Whole Foods announced April 1 its third round of price-cuts and Prime Membership Weekly Deals available at Amazon.com. The deals in-store begin April 3 with price reductions on popular produce including tomatoes, fruits and organic bunched rainbow chard.
The chain, acquired by Amazon August 2017, just can’t seem to get Prime Members to purchase high-priced, organic foods. The Prime Weekly Deal offerings doubled, and the store is offering about 20-percent reduction on “hundreds of customer favorites with a focus on produce.”
Despite the April Fool’s Day announcement, the grocery store cut prices not as a joke but as a serious way to get more customers in the door, as the marketing technique to get Prime Members in the door is just not paying out. Amazon and Whole Foods touts that the Prime benefits will offer more exclusive deals while “maintaining the same high standards and quality across departments.”
“Whole Foods Market continues to maintain the high-quality standards that we’ve championed for nearly 40 years and, with Amazon, we will lower more prices in the future, building on the positive momentum from previous price investments,” said John Mackey, Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO. “The standards for how our products are sourced, grown and produced are powerful and set Whole Foods Market apart from the competition. We will continue to focus on both lowering prices and bringing customers the quality they trust and the innovative assortment they expect from our brand.”
The store has tried numerous ways to get Prime members into the stores offering an additional 10 percent of on sale items and 20 exclusive deals weekly, two hour delivery for those who spend $35 or more, and grocery pickup at select locations.
According to CNN, despite these efforts a survey by Wolfe Research indicated only 18 percent of Prime Members shop at Whole Foods at least once per month. The survey also noted that 70 percent suggested they “rarely or never shop at Whole Foods.”
Whole Foods wrote in a release that these new reductions will build on the company’s previous initiatives since the merger. Another way the company is trying to get more people in the door is promoting its equity standards.
“Whole Foods Market standards prohibit over a hundred preservatives, flavors, colors and other ingredients commonly found in food, including high-fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated fats,” the company wrote in a release. “No antibiotics ever and no added hormones are allowed in raising animals for meat sold in the Whole Foods Market meat department. All seafood in the seafood department is either sustainable wild-caught or Responsibly Farmed, which prohibits the use of antibiotics and added growth hormones in feed and minimizes environmental impact.”