Amazon’s impact on Whole Foods gradual but steady
Since purchasing Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion last August, Amazon has not overhauled the organic grocery chain. Instead, the changes have been incremental and subtle, according to an article titled “Bit by Bit, Whole Foods Gets an Amazon Touch,” published March 1 on the website of the New York Times.
As the article points out, these changes include the following:
- Prices have been lowered on certain items — some of which have been seasonal discounts such as for roses before Valentine’s Day and turkeys before Thanksgiving — but there have not been across-the-board price cuts.
- Inconspicuous “Whole Foods + Amazon” labels featuring both companies’ logos are appearing on small signs promoting various products.
- Amazon Prime members now receive a 5 percent discount on their Whole Foods purchases when they use an Amazon-branded Visa card.
- Whole Foods customers in four markets — Austin, Dallas, Cincinnati and Virginia Beach, Va. — can take advantage of the new Prime Now delivery service, which offers free two-hour delivery but charges $7.99 for one-hour delivery for orders that are at least $35.
- Many Whole Foods stores have Amazon kiosks that sell Amazon electronic products such as the Echo, Fire TV and Kindle.
- Most if not all Whole Foods stores have Amazon Order Pickup lockers where customers can retrieve or return their Amazon online purchases.
The article also observes that items from Whole Foods’ 365 Everyday Value private brand are being sold in the Amazon Go cashier-less convenience store in Seattle.