Whole Foods Market will be offering lower prices on a selection of best-selling grocery staples across its stores including both of its two stores in Pasadena starting Monday, as online retailer Amazon completes its acquisition of the company.
Whole Foods Markets healthy and high-quality private label productsincluding 365 Everyday Value, Whole Foods Market, Whole Paws and Whole Catchwill be available through Amazon.com, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry and Prime Now.
Reporting from a store on East 57th Street in Manhattan on Monday, Bloomberg noted various markdowns that included organic fuji apples dropping from $3.49 to $1.99 a pound, organic avocados dropping in price from $2.79 to $1.99 and organic rotisserie chicken falling from $13.99 to $9.99.
Lowering prices could stem defections by price-sensitive Whole Foods shoppers, and help the grocer shed its "Whole Paycheck" reputation for high prices that are generally 15-25% above rivals.
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In addition to these price drops, Amazon has also began selling its Echo smart speaker at select Whole Foods stores with deep discounts. This acquisition certainly shakes up the retail and grocery industry as stocks fell slightly on Monday after the announcement.
Last week, Amazon announced that at the beginning of this week it would trigger substantial changes within Whole Foods.
With lower prices for higher quality goods, Amazon is posing a direct threat to America's major supermarkets. While some had subsequently recovered, most were down again after Whole Foods shareholders approved the deal and the FTC allowed it to proceed. What the online retailer nearly certainly won't do is undermine the brand equity Whole Foods has built up over decades by lowering the quality of its merchandise.
Whole Foods Market will continue to grow its team and create jobs in local communities as it opens new stores, hires new team members, and expands its support of local farmers and artisans.
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It wouldn't be the first time Amazon has started price wars with brick and mortar retailers, as it did with booksellers such as Barnes & Noble in the 1990s.
At a store in Chicago, organic avocados and bananas were also marked down and a big sign advertised the voice-activated Amazon Echo device on sale for $99.99 rather than the list price of $179.99.
Whole Foods has more than 460 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.
"What they're really doing is they bought 440 distribution centers", said Pachter, referring to the rough number of Whole Foods locations in the U.S. From fresh fish to produce, prices were down across the board. Image source: Whole Foods.
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Amazon's business model has been the opposite of Whole Foods, because despite having super-competitive pricing, Amazon has still been able to grow its revenue at a faster pace than its costs.