Amazon.com is looking to attract new customers who are on food stamps and other government assistance by offering deep discounts.
The retail giant announced its decision to offer its Prime service, which offers free two-day shipping on many items as well as an extensive video and music collection, to recipients of government assistance for $5.99 a month, the New York Post reported.
The membership price to the general public is $10.99 a month, or $99 per year.
The move is seen by many experts as an attempt to compete with WalMart, who had around $13 billion in sales in 2016 from Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).
Amazon also announced that it will add ways for participants in government programs other than SNAP to receive the same discounts, according to the Post.
“We designed this membership option for customers receiving government assistance to make our everyday selection and savings more accessible, including the many conveniences and entertainment benefits of Prime,” Amazon Prime Vice President Greg Greeley said in a statement.
The Post noted that this is not Amazon’s first foray into tapping into the low-income households market.
In April, it announced a program called Amazon Cash that allows customers to add money to their Amazon account if they don’t have a debit or credit card. Some 7 percent of households in the US do not use banking accounts at insured institutions, and this program would allow them to still shop online through Amazon.
The announcement angered many on social media.
Sorry but if you’re on food stamps, you shouldn’t be spending money on amazon until you can afford to fucking feed yourself #AmazonPrime
— Cov Fefe (@PRINCESSPUTIN) June 7, 2017
This summer, Amazon will begin accepting food stamps to pay for online grocery orders. Make poverty comfortable and more will participate!
— Fight ?With ?! (@Portland_jet) June 6, 2017
Amazon is offering 5.99 instead of 10.99 for ppl on food stamps that we pay taxes on.
— Lynda Divine (@lynda_divine) June 10, 2017
#Amazon Giving PRIME discount to people on food stamps? Taxpayers provide food, their cash goes to you? Ridiculous.
— Dick Kalbfleish (@DickKalbfleish) June 6, 2017
F*U @amazon your gonna raise my prices so ppl on food stamps can get their Gucci sweatpants and Jordan sneaks? Not fair!
— MeanTweets (@TruthandLove012) June 6, 2017
They should include discounts for all illegal immigrants while they’re there! They really should stop billing everyone!
— Mary Lee (@MaryPena4) June 7, 2017
Just cancelled my Prime Membership when I heard Amazon was to give discounts to welfare recipients.
— VoiceForVictory (@VoiceForVictory) June 7, 2017
Cancelling Prime – I’m already paying taxes for those receiving gov assistance and now I need to subsidize amazon members too?
— DD (@JustSayingDD) June 7, 2017
? If ur on welfare & a priority expenditure is an Amazon Prime subscription, u shouldn’t be on welfare or the amount u receive should be cut
— Hillary for Prison (@HRC4Prison) June 6, 2017
Ridiculous more incentive to go on welfare
— Thomas G. Finchio (@ThomasGFinchio) June 6, 2017
Others thought it was fantastic.
LOVE THIS. People on SNAP will have access to a highly subsidized Amazon Prime rate. Much needed step towards equality & accessibility. https://t.co/WGof34Yw7K
— Sonya Desai (@SonyaDesai) June 10, 2017
— Erin Gilmer (@GilmerHealthLaw) June 6, 2017
Amazon to give Prime discount to those on food stamps https://t.co/Aj7OcFJ5mn Great deal!
— David (@Tweetzing) June 7, 2017
What a great idea! Amazon Prime discount offered to people on food stamps https://t.co/0tRbM3VEQh
— Kathleen R. Rodberg (@WNCElderLaw) June 7, 2017
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