Brief - The Hustle

Amazon wants to copy Costco, but its price cuts aren’t as fresh as they seem

Written by Conor Grant | Jun 30, 2020 10:28:06 AM

Last week, Amazon and Whole Foods announced a new round of price cuts at Whole Foods stores around the country, saying that prices on 100s of items would drop by 20%.

It’s the 3rd time Whole Foods prices have dropped since Amazon acquired the company in 2017. But these price cuts, which primarily cater to Prime members, aren’t as palatable as they appear.

From Whole Paycheck to marked-down mangoes?

This time, Amazon is focusing on the produce aisle, with deals like $1 mangoes and bunches of organic rainbow chard for $1.99.

These produce deals will impact both Prime and non-Prime customers. But the best bargains are reserved for Prime purchasers, who will receive 2x as many exclusive and 30%+ price cuts on popular products like Justin’s almond butter.

It’s a mixed (grocery) bag

Although Amazon has made a big deal about its price cuts, most shoppers haven’t noticed much of a difference. A New York Times report found that average non-Prime shoppers in New York saved just 5 cents after this most recent round of price cuts.

With Prime discounts, savings average out to 4% per basket, while Whole Foods is still 15% more expensive than average supermarkets overall.