nsucurrent.com May 21, 2018

Whole Foods may no longer be called "Whole Paycheck"

26 August 2017, 01:15 | Ruby West

Amazon unveils Prime discounts, Lockers at Whole Foods

Amazon vs Google ecommerce

The online giant also says its Amazon Prime members will get special prices and perks.

Expect to see savings on some of Whole Foods' most popular items like salmon, avocados, baby kale, almond butter, bananas, eggs, ground beef, rotisserie chicken, butter and apples.

Whole Foods' private label 365 products will also be available on Amazon. Guess that "whole paycheck" reputation will become a thing of the past.

There will eventually be Amazon lockers in stores for returning items bought online. Yet Amazon's announcement of immediate price reductions on groceries underscores how the company has managed to say on the right side of regulators.

"It's ultimately a nice land grab", said Bill Bishop of retail consultancy Brick Meets Click, and a way to get customers "thinking about buying healthy food from Amazon".

Wilke of Amazon said in his statement that lowering prices would not compromise the quality of products at Whole Foods, the brand's main selling point.

The planned price cuts would have been a tough sell to Whole Foods' investors, who had grown used to fat profits from the upscale chain, but are more in line with Amazon's broader strategy of sacrificing short-term profit for long-term market dominance. Amazon has more than 60 million Prime members, according to analyst estimates.

Online retail behemoth, Amazon, is set to close the deal on acquisition of Whole Foods on Monday. Amazon Prime customers will receive additional discounts on some Whole Foods products in the future. We saw some of the disruption reflected in the markets yesterday - Kroger's shares fell more than 8 percent after the announcement, while Walmart's dipped 2 percent. Signs at the Westport store this week promoted Whole Foods' delivery services; this week, Stew Leonard Jr. predicted that within five years, 20 percent of the sales rung up at his Stew Leonard's chain will be delivered to customers.

What does this shift mean for the supermarket industry as a whole?

Amazon's willingness to take lower profit margins ups the ante in the increasingly costly grocery price war.

"It's been our mission for 39 years at Whole Foods Market to bring the highest-quality food to our customers", said John Mackey, Whole Foods co-founder and CEO. If Amazon is soon able to achieve a seamless view, traditional retailers will also be pressured to "stop viewing their worlds by channel", he said. Walmart, which has the largest share of the USA grocery market, is expanding its grocery delivery service with ride-hailing service Uber and announced Wednesday that it will join forces with Google to let shoppers order goods by voice on Google devices.

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