There are an estimated 85 million Prime members in the USA, a huge and mostly higher-income group that could help build up Whole Foods' sales. The move is a direct challenge to office supply stores, like Staples, Office Depot and others, as well as other big box retailers, like Walmart, and warehouse deals stores, like Costco.
"Business Prime Shipping combines the wide selection of products available to Amazon Business customers, with the speed and convenience that customers have come to know and love from Amazon Prime", said Greg Greeley, Vice President of Amazon Prime. The base price starts at $499 for a company with about 10 users and $1,299 for businesses with 100 users. The new shipping service is now only available to companies based in the US and Germany.
Amazon Business provides free multi-user accounts for organizations.
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Amazon Business was launched in the U.S. in 2015 and was later introduced to countries like Germany and the United Kingdom.
"A$3 sAmazon continues to offer customers additional retail options for buying wine, we will no longer offer a marketplace for wine at this time, and Amazon Wine will close on December 31st, 2017", the company reportedly told partner wine sellers on Monday. The service was recently expanded to include Japan and India.
In 2015, the company launched its B2B marketplace, Amazon Business that included a number of business-specific perks such as purchasing analytics, bulk pricing and free-two day shipping on orders over $49. When it comes to home automation and smart speakers, the retail footprint gives the company an interesting advantage over, say, Google who, instead, must primarily rely on online distribution for its Google Home speaker.