Amazon Closes Whole Foods Acquisition: 3 Experts Weigh In
Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods Market closes today August 28, 2017, and the deal’s impact will be felt immediately. Whole Foods Market will offer lower prices starting today on a selection of best-selling grocery staples across its stores, with more to come.
In addition, Amazon and Whole Foods Market technology teams will begin to integrate Amazon Prime into the Whole Foods Market point-of-sale system, and when this work is complete, Prime members will receive special savings and in-store benefits. The two companies will invent in additional areas over time, including in merchandising and logistics, to enable lower prices for Whole Foods Market customers.
Three experts weigh in below on the acquisition’s long-term implications for retailers.
“When Amazon announced plans to acquire Whole Foods in June, we suspected that Amazon intended to use Whole Foods as omni-channel in-store pickup points. The announcement about Amazon Locker deployments means their reach has jumped by 460 locations. Like the Instant Pickup announcement, Amazon is taking omni-channel seriously, and they are moving fast. In the U.S., OrderDynamics has found that only 29.1 percent of retailers have in-store pickup capabilities and most are missing the mark. With Amazon adding 460 in-store pickup locations, retailers need to get in the game and put in place their own click and collect services, or get knocked over by the oncoming train. Amazon has long been the benchmark for consumer expectations online, and it has started the engine in the omni-channel space, too.” – Nick McLean, CEO, OrderDynamics
“Much like the recent, and rare, total solar eclipse, so too have been the strategic moves made by Amazon this year with its acquisition of Whole Foods. Thanks to Amazon, never before has the retail industry – especially grocery – seen its comfortable boundaries pushed so far beyond the traditional. This is not the last we will see or hear of Amazon changing the rules of retail. Harry Gordon Selfridge, American retail magnate and founder of Selfridges department store once said, ‘Excite the mind, and the hand will reach for the pocket.’ Amazon has not once skipped a step in exciting the mind of its loyal Prime customers. Now with Whole Foods storefronts officially in its corner, Amazon’s depth of knowledge on consumer buying behavior is poised to further outshine the market, at least for now.” – Paul Millner, Marketing Director, DisplayData
“Amazon has wasted no time integrating Whole Foods into its operation, and starting today the grocery landscape changes radically, as Amazon gains 460 stores and Whole Foods gains access to 85 million Amazon Prime members. It’s a dream scenario for Prime customers, a nightmare for other grocery retailers. Amazon’s timing with this announcement is pitch-perfect, as it overshadows Wednesday’s Walmart-Google announcement.” – Jeff Ketner, president, Ketner Group PR +