Advertisement
06/06/2017

Amazon Discounts Prime for Customers on Government Aid

Amazon.com is now offering a discount on its Prime subscription service for customers who receive aid from the U.S. government, Reuters has reported.

The new initiative will allow people on government assistance such as welfare and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) to subscribe for $5.99 per month, rather than the $10.99 per month or $99 per year other subscribers pay. It 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.

The new move by Amazon takes aim for 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.