Amazon cuts Whole Foods prices for Prime customers in Florida, rolling out to other states in summer

(REUTERS) - Whole Foods is starting a new loyalty program with special discounts for Amazon Prime members.

Think 10 per cent off hundreds of sale items and weekly specials.

For now, those perks are available only in Florida.

But Whole Foods will roll them out to all other stores starting this summer.

Adjunct professor Kenneth Sanford,of Boston College, said: "From the beginning, the effort by Amazon in the Whole Foods merger, was to create a more 360 view of the customer. So, they had historically had a lot of information on customer spend online.

"And, what they wanted to do, was augment that with customer spend in the store. There really has never been a great 360 view of a retail customer, you know, and, again, 360 means can I observe how they spend, what they spend, the timing of their spend consistently, longitudinally, for any meaningful period of time. This initial acquisition was clearly an attempt to delve that, and then this price drop of course is just taking that a step further."

 

Sanford says Amazon chose Florida to learn shopping habits of its diverse population.

It is also testing last-minute deals on perishable food market.

He adds that tying Prime numbers to Whole Foods shopping could be a beginning of a conversation about data sharing.