True to its word, Amazon stormed its new Whole Foods stores Monday and slashed prices on several popular grocery items.
The e-commerce giant celebrated the close of its Whole Foods acquisition with an Amazon Echo display inside the high-end grocery stores and price cuts on produce of as much as 43 percent.
Amazon's $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods, which will be completed on Monday, has been hanging over a brick-and-mortar retail sector unsure of how to respond to the world's biggest online retailer.
In summary, having more points of physical contact with customers is huge for Amazon. Some of the steepest price cuts were on meat: Fresh Atlantic salmon dropped by a third from$15 to $10 a pound, and Hass avocados by almost half.
Whole Foods co-founder and CEO John Mackey said the market has been on a mission to bring the highest quality food to customers. On Thursday, Amazonannounced that Amazon Prime will become Whole Foods' customer rewards program, giving Prime members "special savings and in-store benefits".
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Also, in true Amazon fashion, the company is discounting select groceries at stores across the country.
Whole Foods will now have exclusive access among grocery retailers to this enormously valuable search engine.
Amazon executives said last week that the goal is to make healthy and organic food "affordable for everyone".
The company also said certain Whole Foods products will be available through Amazon.com, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry and Prime Now. "They featured the normal prices and then the new reduced price".
"We will lower prices without compromising Whole Foods Market's long-held commitment to the highest standards", he said in a statement.
We reached out to Amazon to see if all Whole Foods would begin selling the Echo and will update the post when we get more information.
Whole Foods has two stores in Pasadena, one in West Pasadena at 465 South Arroyo Parkway, and another in East Pasadena, at the Hastings Ranch Shopping Center at 3751 E. Foothill Blvd.
According to Wilke, the lower prices are "just the beginning" of the acquisition.
With natural grocery stores popping up all over urban areas, this puts Whole Foods in the forefront of competition, with the added Amazon edge of being infamous for automation and convenience.
As Amazon invests in technology and reconfigures staff to make Whole Foods more efficient, operating margins could be pushed down initially. And to the extent Prime members can grow will allow Amazon to keep Whole Foods' prices lower, thus maintaining its leadership position in foods.
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