Amazon fires at Walmart with new Prime offer
The new promotion will allow people on government assistance such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to subscribe for $5.99 per month, rather than the $10.99 per month or $99 per year other subscribers pay.
The move follows the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s announcement in January that it had selected seven retail partners, including Amazon, to take part in a pilot designed to enable SNAP participants to purchase their groceries online. The two-year pilot begins this summer and also includes FreshDirect, Safeway, ShopRite, Hy-Vee, Hart’s Local Grocers and Dash’s Market.
With the discount, Amazon is taking aim at a significant customer base of Bentonville, Ark.-based Walmart, which Reuters says is the biggest beneficiary of SNAP.
It is the latest in the back-and-forth fight between the Seattle-based ecommerce giant and the Bentonville, Ark.-based mega-retailer.
While Amazon is setting up brick-and-mortar stores and pickup locations, Walmart is expanding its ecommerce operations and promoting them well. Additionally, the two have been competing on a number of initiatives, from shipping minimums and last-mile delivery efficiency to drone delivery and in-home product replenishment technology.
Meanwhile Wall Street thinks Amazon will be the one to lead Silicon Valley's looming disruption of the health-care industry. A new report from Wells Fargo shows that consumers are clamoring for the Seattle-based tech behemoth to enter the prescription pharmaceuticals business. The firm conducted a nationwide survey and found that five in 10 U.S. adults would probably use Amazon Pharmacy if the company pursued it.