Whole Foods shoppers blast Amazon's Prime member discounts as the company announces it's slashing prices

Whole FoodsBusiness Insider/Hayley PetersonShoppers are slamming Amazon's Prime member discounts at Whole Foods.Business Insider/Hayley Peterson

  • Some Whole Foods shoppers say they aren't saving any money with Amazon's Prime member discounts.
  • "There is no benefit whatsoever," said Claudia Cukrov, an Amazon Prime member who shops at a Whole Foods in Brooklyn, New York, on a near daily basis.
  • Spencer Somers said he has stopped scanning his Amazon Prime member code at Whole Foods. "I was scanning it every time, but it wasn't worth the under $1 savings," he told Business Insider.
  • Amazon said response to the Prime member discounts has been positive, and that members have saved $100 million at Whole Foods since last summer. 
  • Amazon announced this week that it would slash prices by 20% on hundreds of items and double the number of Prime-member deals available to Whole Foods shoppers.

Some Whole Foods shoppers say Amazon's Prime member discounts are worthless, with customers claiming to save close to nothing on hundreds of dollars of purchases.

"There is no benefit whatsoever," said Claudia Cukrov, an Amazon Prime member who shops at a Whole Foods store in Brooklyn, New York, on a near daily basis.

She said her Amazon Prime member code, which she scans with every Whole Foods purchase, has never saved her any money. She accused Amazon of using the codes to collect data on what she buys, without offering any value in return. 

"They are building a full consumer profile on us in the guise of a discount," she told Business Insider.

Amazon rolled out Prime member discounts in Whole Foods stores nationwide last year, about 10 months after completing its $13.7 billion acquisition of the grocery chain in 2017. The discounts consist of weekly rotating specials on a handful of products, as well as an extra 10% off sale items.

Read more: Amazon's 10% discount for Prime members is now hitting all Whole Foods stores

Spencer Somers said he was excited when he found out about the new Whole Foods discounts last year. But nearly a year later, he has stopped scanning his Amazon Prime member code at the checkout of the Los Angeles Whole Foods store where he spends upwards of $100 every week. 

"I was scanning it every time, but it wasn't worth the under $1 savings," he told Business Insider. "I know how data collection works. They want to look at my receipt and all the stuff I bought, so if that's not worth a good amount of savings, then it's not worth me giving to them."

The concerns of Cukrov and Somers are echoed by dozens of complaints on social media. 

In a statement to Business Insider, Amazon said shoppers' response to the Prime member discounts has been positive. 

"Our Prime customers tell us they love the Prime member discounts at Whole Foods Market. In fact, Prime members have adopted the Whole Foods Market benefit at one of the fastest rates we've seen," an Amazon spokesperson said. "Since introducing Prime member discounts last summer, Prime members have already saved more than $100 million shopping at Whole Foods Market. And we expect Prime customers will save even more over the next few months."

Amazon announced this week that it would slash prices by 20% on hundreds of items and double the number of Prime-member deals available to Whole Foods shoppers.

Customers should expect more than 300 Prime-member deals in stores over the next few months, such as a 40% discount on asparagus and strawberries and a 35% discount on all Justin's branded products, the company said.

Read more: Amazon is slashing Whole Foods' prices by 20% on hundreds of items

Whole Foods shared the news with shoppers in an email sent Thursday with the subject line: "Prime Members: You Asked For More Deals."

"Weekly deals for Prime members are growing. As in multiplying. As in more big savings across the entire store. Turn down almost any aisle and - boom - you'll find a way to save," the email stated.

It remains to be seen whether the deals will win back customers who have already stopped scanning the Prime member codes. 

"So far I've only gotten a discount on one item I purchased," said Jean-Michel Boudreault, who said he shops at Whole Foods twice weekly in New York City. "It almost seems like a waste of time to pull up the barcode and show it to the cashier each time I shop there."

Here's what shoppers are saying on social media. 

 

 

 

 

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