Amazon Canada launches monthly Prime plan

New program allows for greater flexibility, according to the e-commerce giant

Amazon Canada has introduced a monthly membership option for Prime members as an alternative to its existing yearly plan.

Prime members now have the option of paying $7.99 per month compared to $79 for the yearly option. Prime members in Canada receive access to Prime Video, Prime Music, Prime Photos and free same-day delivery in Toronto and Vancouver.

"Prime brings together the best of entertainment and shopping into a simple package at an unbelievable value for Canadians," said Mike Strauch, country manager for Amazon Canada, in a press release. "With the launch of a monthly membership, we have added yet another easy way to enjoy Prime benefits."

In the U.S., Amazon has been weaving its $99-a-year Prime membership program into Whole Foods’ operations since its purchase of the grocery chain last August. It recently rolled out free two-hour delivery from Whole Foods stores to Prime members via its Prime Now delivery program, which it said would eventually merge with its Amazon Fresh grocery delivery service to “streamline a delivery experience for Whole Foods.” The e-commerce giant has yet to make a similar move here in Canada.

In his annual note to shareholders last April, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said more than 100 million Amazon shoppers subscribed to Prime. Though it’s not known how many of those members shop at Whole Foods, research from Morgan Stanley shared by CNBC last September estimated that 38% of Whole Foods shoppers were not Prime members. Morgan Stanley expected Amazon to convert half of those shoppers by the end of 2019.

Amazon Prime launched in Canada in 2013 and has expanded over the years to include additional benefits and services. Though it didn't provide specific figures, the company said the number of members in Canada had doubled in the last 18 months.


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