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Start saving! Amazon purchases Whole Foods today

Amazon officially acquired Whole Foods Market today, paving the way for Amazon Prime members to receive special savings and in-store benefits at Whole Foods.

Whole Foods Market plans lower prices starting today on a selection of best-selling grocery staples across its stores, the company said in a statement. Amazon and Whole Foods Market technology teams will also begin to integrate Amazon Prime into the Whole Foods Market point-of-sale system.

» RELATED: After Amazon’s Whole Foods purchase, grocery industry braces for change

When the system integration is complete, Prime members will receive special savings and in-store benefits. The two companies will also come up with additional ideas to lower prices for Whole Foods Market customers. Whole Foods stores will also now have Amazon Lockers, where customers can pick up or send returns back to Amazon during their grocery store trips.

» Whole Foods, Amazon merger: What’s next for the two giants?

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“We’re determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone. 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,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO of AmazonWorldwide Consumer. “To get started, we’re going to lower prices beginning Monday on a selection of best-selling grocery staples, including Whole Trade organic bananas, responsibly-farmed salmon, organic large brown eggs, animal-welfare-rated 85 percent lean ground beef, and more.”

» RELATED: South Dayton suburbs see grocery competition heat up

Amazon will purchase Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion today.

Whole Foods reported its third quarter earnings late last month, with total sales increasing about 0.6 percent. However, comparable store sales decreased nearly 2 percent. During the earnings report, Whole Foods addressed the merger, in which Amazon.com will acquire the grocery chain for $42 per share in an all-cash transaction.

“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,” Wilke said. “There is significant work and opportunity ahead, and we’re thrilled to get started.”

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