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Published: Wed, August 30, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Whole Foods prices just dropped by as much as 43%

Whole Foods prices just dropped by as much as 43%

Amazon closed on its acquisiton of Whole Foods Market on Monday, Aug. 28. "Whole Foods has built a brand around trust through its organic-only offerings and transparent product content, and Amazon is now taking advantage of this loyal customer base".

When Amazon shook the food industry on both sides of the Atlantic through its $13.7 billion takeover of Whole Foods in June, the United States giant was quickly tipped to go on to cut prices.

Among the items reduced at a Vancouver Whole Foods location this week were Colombian Hass avocados, which are now $1 cheaper at $1.99 each, and organic baby spinach which costs $3.49, or 50 cents less than a week ago.

As Amazon seems to be making good on its promise to banish the "whole paycheck" stereotype now attached to the Whole Foods brand, lower prices have already taken root. As if this natural disaster weren't enough, online retailer Amazon's recent acquisition of the Whole Foods Market brand has led to several financial repercussions for its competitors. The larger fall here could be due to the uncertainty about the future of Amazon's wholesale agreement to sell fresh food in the United Kingdom with the supermarket. Shoppers were greeted with new signage announcing price cuts throughout the entire store. Sure enough, 365 Everyday Value products are available today through Amazon.com & through other Amazon services like Prime Now where member customers get free two-hour delivery in select cities and zip codes. Those who watch the industry expect Amazon to push further into grocery deliveries, among other things.

Some observers, like Roster, say they hope Amazon can live up to Whole Foods' ideals, but "it's always a problem when you have a $100-billion business that wants to improve margins". And that may make Whole Foods Market a lot more price competitive in my area. Prices on some grocery staples dropped by nearly 50 percent. Discounts are certainly never a bad idea, and when a juggernaut of a company purchases an already popular company, there are many, many benefits. But with Whole Foods, the online retailer has positioned itself early on as a low price leader.

As part of Amazon's putting its stamp on the grocer, Whole Foods stores displayed promotions for Amazon's Echo speaker in tongue-in-cheek fashion, with signs reading "Farm Fresh" and "Pick of the Season".

The lockers combined with Amazon's use of Prime Loyalty also could help close the gap between digital and brick-and-mortar in the broader supply chain, adds Greg Ng, vice president of digital engagement at PointSource.

As numerous signs throughout the store note, this is all just the beginning. Only time will tell.

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