Whole Foods is America’s answer to health and wellness, according to the yuppies that visit the 460-store chain every week. Whole Foods is not just a grocery store. It is the Grand Dame of free-range chicken, responsibly farmed fish, and organic bananas. The employees are neat college educated folks; the vegetables are fresh, and the beef is antibiotic free. And the price for all these health conscious offerings is in orbit. The customers who shop at Whole foods bring a fat wallet, and the desire to live a healthy life until they go to that big health food store in the sky.
The silver-lining that Whole Foods sells along with its high-priced merchandise has a few blemishes in it. Price-fixing and weight-tampering have hurt the giant grocery store in the last couple of years, but all that nonsense is over now. Amazon, the online retailer is now the proud owner of Whole Foods. Jeff Bezos and his group of tech savvy executives plan to turn the grocery business upside down with a new improved version of Whole Foods online. Amazon didn’t flinch when the check for $13.7 billion hit the company’s checking account. Amazon wants to be the king of the retail business. And in order to be king, Amazon has to be in the grocery business.
But Amazon is not going to play by the grocery rules that Publix, Kroger, and other grocery stores play by. Amazon is going to cut food prices, maintain quality, and make groceries more accessible to consumers. The goal is to turn Whole Food customers into Amazon customers that trust online shopping from the everything store. In order to win the retail war, Amazon must win grocery store battle. And the six largest food retailers in America already feel the pressure. When the Amazon purchase of Whole Foods first hit the news, those six food giants lost $12 billion in value. Amazon’s plan is to lower prices in Whole Foods locations opens the door for new locations in areas that couldn’t afford the organic gelato and the cage-free eggs before the Amazon deal.
Amazon is already setting the groundwork for a new Whole Foods shopping experience. Amazon Prime will turn into a Whole Foods reward program that gives Prime members in-store shopping advantages and special savings benefits. And Amazon wants all Whole Foods shoppers in their Prime program, so the king of online shopping becomes a one-stop shopping mecca for all things retail.