whole foods

(Bloomberg photo by Luke Sharrett)

NEW YORK (AP) — It's Prime time at Whole Foods: Amazon is rolling out discounts for Prime members at the organic grocer.

The benefits start Wednesday at stores in Florida and will expand nationwide this summer. Prime members will get an additional 10 percent off sale items and exclusive deals on certain groceries.

This week in Florida, for example, Prime members can get $2 off a pound of organic strawberries or save $10 a pound on wild halibut steaks. Amazon wouldn't say if it plans to add the benefits to Whole Foods stores in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Since it bought Whole Foods last year, Amazon.com Inc. has cut prices on some groceries, begun offering same-day delivery to Prime members in several cities and extended its 5 percent cash back Amazon rewards credit card to Whole Foods purchases. But turning its Prime membership into the Whole Foods loyalty program could drive more people to its stores.

Amazon said last month that it had more than 100 million paid Prime members worldwide. That was before it announced it's raising the price to $119 a year, up from $99. Prime members get fast shipping from Amazon.com and other perks, like access to its video streaming service.

To show that they're Prime members, shoppers can scan the Whole Foods app at the register or give the cashier their phone number.

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Contact Joseph Pisani at http://twitter.com/josephpisani

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