Amazon is wasting no time making changes at Whole Foods Market. This morning, in the wake of last week's Federal Trade Commission formal approval of the online retail giant's purchase of Whole Foods for a reported $13.7 billion, Amazon slashed prices on grocery staples at the popular organic market by as much as 43 percent.
The first items to see the dramatic price cuts include fruit — the price of organic bananas dropped from 99 cents per pound to 69 cents per pound, while Fuji apple prices saw the most precipitous fall, dropping 43 percent from $3.49 per pound to $1.99 per pound — and dinner staples like salmon, ground beef and rotisserie chicken.
Amazon announced last week that it would be lowering prices at the health-focused grocery chain, which had garnered the tongue-in-cheek tag "Whole Paycheck" due to its reputation for high prices and customer sticker shock at the register.
Other foods that are now cheaper: avocados, kale, baby lettuce, tilapia, almond butter, organic eggs and rotisserie chicken. And the company announced that the cost of more items will be cut soon.
Amazon plans to offer the Whole Foods Organic 365 line of generic brand products — along with Whole Paws pet products — through its website and AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry and Prime Now programs that offer grocery sales and delivery. Amazon soon will bundle Whole Foods benefits — such as in-store savings and rewards shopping programs — into its Prime membership, which already offers customers free shipping and other benefits that include access to streaming movies, TV and music.
"We’re determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone," Jeff Wilke, chief executive of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, said in a statement. "This is just the beginning. We will make Amazon Prime the customer rewards program at Whole Foods Market and continuously lower prices as we invent together. There is significant work and opportunity ahead.”
The reverberations of Amazon's arrival into the brick-and-mortar grocery business were felt immediately by investors and industry analysts. On the news of lower prices at Whole Foods, shares of chains like Kroger and Walmart — which now registers as the largest grocery retailer in the country — fell 8 and 2 percent, respectively.
“This is how Amazon operates,” Michelle Grant, head of retailing at market research firm Euromonitor, told the New York Times. “It’s all about speed, speed, speed.”
Also of Interest
- Ways to save on groceries and food
- Explore the full list of benefits available to you as an AARP Member
- WATCH: An oasis in a food desert
- TELL US: How do you prioritize healthy eating every day?
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