Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is officially a done deal, and shoppers are already seeing price cuts at the natural foods chain. In addition, subscribers to Amazon Prime will be able to take advantage of special discounts at Whole Foods in the coming months, and Prime will be the rewards program used at the grocer. It’s not clear at this time, though, what the special Prime discounts will be or what other benefits Prime members can expect.
With the merger complete, items already discounted include avocados, bananas, almond butter, and kale. Organic bananas, for instance, dropped from 99 cents a pound to 69 cents a pound. Along with the price cuts, Whole Foods shoppers will also be seeing Amazon products like the Echo and Echo Dot for sale in stores. And, bringing the merger full circle, products from Whole Foods’ store labels, including 365 Everyday Value, are now available to purchase online through Amazon.com, as well as the Internet giant’s Amazon Fresh, Prime Pantry, and Prime Now.
Amazon & Whole Foods: A Fast Acquisition, Not Without Controversy
According to Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon WorldwideConsumer, “We’re determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone. Everybody should be able to eat Whole Foods Market quality—we will lower prices without compromising Whole Foods Market’s long-held commitment to the highest standards.”
In spite of these laudable goals, Amazon’s takeover of Whole Foods has not been without controversy. Observers have noted the speed with which the deal was approved by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). (Rumors of the deal surfaced earlier this spring.) As recently as late July, a group of Congressional Democrats, including Sen. Cory Booker (NJ), raised anti-trust concerns to the FTC and the U.S. Department of Justice, asking for a deeper review of the merger.
Mark Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, said at the time, “Political concerns about Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods are growing for good reason. Amazon’s monopolistic desire to control the retail market and replace good jobs with automation is not only a direct threat to the hard-working men and women at Whole Foods, it’s also a direct threat to our economy and consumers.”
Despite these concerns, the merger was approved. Amazon has stated that with its acquisition of Whole Foods, there is no “plan” to cut jobs. Some other grocery chains have already seen drops in stock prices, however, including Kroger Co. and Sprouts Farmers Markets, Inc.
Shoppers looking to save on natural and organic goods will likely be turning to Whole Foods more for the foreseeable future, though, as Amazon moves full speed ahead into the supermarket space.