As many of you have no doubt heard, Amazon recently purchased Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. The deal closed on Monday and for residents of Mt. Pleasant, as well as the downtown area, this could have a major impact on their grocery shopping as Whole Foods is one of the only “higher end” or “gourmet” grocery stores in the area. This impact obviously depends on what, if any, changes are in store for our only Whole Foods in the area. So what changes could we expect to see?
The first thing you will notice is a large kiosk selling Amazon Echoes and Dots as soon as you walk in the store. A little jarring for a grocery store, but even these products have been discounted. As for discounted items, Amazon appears to have kept their promise of lowering the price of “best-selling staple” products, such as eggs and milk. I even bought some New York Strip steaks for a price you would never normally see at Whole Foods. Whole Foods’ brand of products will also be available on Amazon’s website now. While more changes are expected, one that we know of is integrating Prime membership as the Whole Foods rewards program. Other Prime membership benefits are all but assured. The next big question is whether Amazon can afford to continue discounting these higher-end products without reducing the quality of those products.
Most Whole Foods customers shop there knowing they are paying a premium price for a premium product. If Amazon cannot sustain that level of quality, that could have tremendous implications for Whole Foods business and brand. What do you think of the buyout? Have you noticed any difference in the quality of the products? Let me, Brad Thompson, know what you think!
Whole Foods + Amazon Market - for an overview of discounted products and future plans
Amazon’s Press Release regarding the merger