Amazon’s Price Cuts Brought More Customers to Whole Foods

published Sep 13, 2017
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(Image credit: Kristi Blokhin)

Earlier this summer, the supermarket industry was shaken up: Online retailer Amazon acquired upscale grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. One of Amazon’s first moves was to cut costs at the 460 brick-and-mortar stores in the United States, Britain, and Canada.

“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,” Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, says in a statement. “To get started, we’re going to lower prices beginning Monday on a selection of best-selling grocery staples.”

Amazon accomplished this by slashing prices on items like whole trade bananas and avocados to brown eggs and rotisserie chicken. The effect? According to Business Insider, Whole Foods experienced a 25 percent increase in customers. In some cities, the effect was heightened. Take Chicago, for instance, which saw a 35 percent increase in customers.

Another change implemented by Amazon is to offer part of the Whole Foods 365 lineup — 2,000 products, to be exact — online. In just the first week alone, Amazon raked in sales totaling $500,000.

The success of Amazon and Whole Foods is promising for another fan-favorite retailer: Target. The company announced last week that it would be reducing “prices on thousands of items, from cereal and paper towels to baby formula, razors, bath tissue and more.” According to Target EVP and CMO, Mark Tritton, the store “spent months looking at [their] entire assortment, with a focus on offering the right price every day and simplifying our marketing to make great, low prices, easy to spot, all while maintaining sales we know are meaningful to guests.”

The competitive world of supermarkets is getting increasingly more cut-throat, but all this price slashing is undoutbedly a benefit for consumers.