"We're determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone", Wilke, who will speak at the upcoming GeekWire Summit, said in a statement. The deal received regulatory approval from the Federal Trade Commission - as well as a green light from Whole Foods shareholders - on Wednesday.
According to Greg Portell, lead partner in the retail practice of global strategy and management consulting firm A.T. Kearney, the integration of Amazon Locker and Whole Foods will enhance the ease with which consumers can interact with Amazon, in other words, moving Amazon closer to the reality of frictionless commerce. Starting Monday, Amazon will lavish its most loyal customers with similar benefits and more when they shop at Whole Foods Market, the high-end grocery chain it's buying for $13.7 billion.
This latest announcement already gets to the heart of the "whole paycheck" reputation that Whole Foods has been trying for some time to shed. Further down the line, Amazon Prime subscribers will also have access to special savings, with Prime set to become Whole Food's rewards program. These include 365 Everyday Value, Whole Foods Market, Whole Catch, and Whole Paws. Customers can have products shipped from Amazon.com to their local Whole Foods Market store for pick up or send returns back to Amazon during a trip to the store.
Amazon haspromised to provide discounts on many of Whole Foods' best-seller products, including organic avocados, almond butter, baby kale and bananas.
Amazon is making immediate changes to Whole Foods, but other grocers won't feel the impact in the near term, analysts say. But under Amazon, those stores will be turned into warehouses that can distribute groceries to homes around the country.
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About 60% of Whole Foods shoppers are already Prime members, CIRP estimates. Prices will be continuously lowered as Amazon and Whole Foods conduct innovations together. According to the Wall Street Journal, stock values for the six largest food retailers, including Kroger Co., and Walmart, fell off around $12 billion.
The retailer has now announced that it will slash prices on a selection of Whole Foods' most popular items including avocados, eggs, salmon and chicken, from next week.
After the companies combine, Amazon's competitors in the grocery business will still be vastly larger.
Meanwhile, select Whole Foods Market stores will offer Amazon Lockers. Amazon Prime has shown to be successful financially for the Seattle based company and has created a customer base that is very loyal.
Stew Leonard Jr.is chief executive of Stew Leonard's, a chain of six grocery stores in NY and CT that focus on fresh produce. By taking aim at staple items, Whole Foods' store traffic and sales could see an uptick quickly.