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Amazon-Whole Foods Market deal closes Aug. 28; grocer to cut some prices immediately


That didn't take very long.

Amazon said on Thursday — the day after the Federal Trade Commission gave the green light to the deal — that its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market will close on Monday Aug. 28. Starting that same day, Whole Foods will offer lower prices on select products. And with time, Amazon will place lockers in Whole Food stores, and make Amazon Prime the grocer's customer rewards program.

"We’re determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone," said Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer. "Everybody should be able to eat Whole Foods Market quality – we will lower prices without compromising Whole Foods Market’s long-held commitment to the highest standards."

To get started, Wilke said, beginning on Monday, Whole Foods will offer lower prices on a selection of best-selling grocery staples across its stores, including Whole Trade organic bananas, responsibly-farmed salmon, organic large brown eggs, animal-welfare-rated 85% lean ground beef, and more.

In addition, Amazon and Whole Foods technology teams will begin to integrate Prime into Whole Foods' point-of-sale system. When the project is completed, Prime members will receive special savings and in-store benefits at Whole Foods. The two companies will invent in additional areas over time, including in merchandising and logistics, to enable more lower prices for Whole Foods Market customers.

"And this is just the beginning – we will make Amazon Prime the customer rewards program at Whole Foods Market and continuously lower prices as we invent together," said Willke. "There is significant work and opportunity ahead, and we’re thrilled to get started.”

Whole Foods will maintain operations under the Whole Foods Market brand and co-founder and CEO Mackey will remain as chief executive. The grocer's headquarters will remain in Austin, Texas.

Mackey said that Whole Foods will "continue to expand our efforts to support and promote local products and suppliers."

Here is more detail on the Whole Foods — Amazon integration:

• Amazon Lockers will be available in select Whole Foods Market stores. Customers can have products shipped from to their local Whole Foods Market store for pick up or send returns back to Amazon during a trip to the store.

• After integration work is complete, Amazon Prime will become Whole Foods Market’s customer rewards program, providing Prime members with special savings and other in-store benefits.

• Whole Foods' private label products — including 365 Everyday Value, Whole Foods Market, Whole Paws and Whole Catch — will be available through, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry and Prime Now.
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