Whole Foods is swiftly transforming under Amazon‘s control.
Amazon’s $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods formally went through in August.
The changes began immediately, from cutting costs to internal restructuring.
And, in the months since August, Amazon has only accelerated the pace of change.
Here’s what changes have been revealed so far — and how they’ll affect Whole Foods shoppers.
Whole Foods immediately slashed prices — and announced another round of price cuts in November.
The day the acquisition went through, prices of many Whole Foods staples immediately dropped. Some price tags decreased by up to 40%.
An identical basket of items from a Whole Foods location in Brooklyn went from $97.76 pre-acquisition to $75.85 post-acquisition.
In November, the grocery chain announced that it had cut prices on more items, with a focus on holiday staples and best sellers. Whole Foods cut prices on a number of brands, including Siggis Yogurt, Chobani, and Tom’s of Maine, in addition to Whole Foods’ private label 365 line of products.
The grocery stores began selling Amazon Echos and Echo Dots.
According to Amazon, the popular voice-controlled speaker system will be available at select Whole Foods locations. A Brooklyn location advertised the Amazon Echo as the “pick of the season” the day the acquisition was completed.
In November, more than 100 stores started selling even more Amazon tech.
These Whole Foods stores now sell products including the Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, Fire TV, Kindle e-readers, and Fire tablets.
Whole Foods is offering major discounts on these Amazon products the week leading up to Black Friday. Whole Foods’ pre-Black Friday deals include $20 off the Echo Dot, $20 off the new Amazon Echo, and $30 off the Kindle Paperwhite.
Amazon is opening staffed pop-up stores inside a handful of Whole Foods stores.
Starting in mid-November, Amazon Pop-Up stores in Chicago, Illinois; Rochester Hills, Michigan; Davie, Florida; Pasadena, California; and Denver, Colorado, will give customers the chance to test products before buying.
Amazon Prime members will get special discounts.
Whole Foods announced that Amazon Prime will replace Whole Foods’ current loyalty program.
In November, Whole Foods offered a “sneak preview” of what the new rewards program will look like with a deal on turkey. Until Thanksgiving, Amazon Prime members can buy turkey for 50 cents a pound cheaper than other customers are paying.
Whole Foods is selling products on Amazon.com.
Soon after Amazon’s $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods went through, more than a thousand Whole Foods items were added to Amazon.com. Whole Foods goods are available on Amazon.com, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry, and Prime Now.
Currently, to purchase many of the Whole Foods items you need to have an AmazonFresh membership. AmazonFresh is Amazon’s grocery delivery service and costs Prime members an additional $14.99 per month.
Brand reps are being banned from stores.
Whole Foods locations will no longer allow brand representatives to visit stores to promote products or check up on how things are stocked and displayed, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Local stores won’t get to decide if they want to sell regional items.
Business Insider/Hayley Peterson
“Whole Foods also is centralizing much of its decision-making regarding the assortment of products across the country,” the Wall Street Journal reported. “Instead of allowing brands to frequently pitch their products to individual stores or regions, Whole Foods executives in its Austin, Texas headquarters will choose a higher percentage of the items stores carry.”
Some Whole Foods stores have added Amazon Lockers.
You can have your Amazon.com orders delivered to a secure location inside certain Whole Foods stores until it’s time to pick them up. Customers can also use lockers to return Amazon items.
The grocery chain is getting bigger.
Instead of laying off employees, Whole Foods says it will hire more workers to implement the changes.
The companies are integrating point-of-sales systems.
This doesn’t mean much for the average shopper, but it will help make it possible for more of Amazon’s brands to be available at Whole Foods, and vice versa.
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