Amazon will complete its acquisition of Whole Foods on Monday – and has unveiled plans to immediately slash prices at the upmarket grocer.
The etail titan, which agreed in June to buy the business in a $13.7bn deal, said the two companies would “together pursue the vision of making Whole Foods Market’s high-quality, natural and organic food affordable for everyone”.
Amazon said that as “a down payment on that vision” it was cutting prices from Monday on “a selection of best-selling staples” – and warned its rivals there was “more to come”.
Amazon said prices of items including Whole Trade bananas, organic avocados, organic large brown eggs and animal-welfare-rated lean ground beef would be slashed from Monday and insisted it would “continuously lower prices” at the grocer.
Although the two retailers did not comment specifically on their plans for Whole Foods in the UK, where it has nine stores, Retail Week understands that prices will be cut in a similar way.
Amazon also said it would begin to integrate Amazon Prime into Whole Foods’ point-of-sale systems, while Whole Foods’ private-label products will be made available to purchase through Amazon.com, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry and Prime Now.
The etailer is also installing Amazon Lockers at “select” Whole Foods stores.
It is understood that Amazon Lockers will also be introduced to a clutch of Whole Foods’ UK stores.
‘Just the beginning’
Jeff Wilke, chief executive of Amazon Worldwide consumer, said: “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.”
In a warning shot to US grocery rivals including Walmart, Wilke added: “This is just the beginning – we will make Amazon Prime the customer rewards programme at Whole Foods Market and continuously lower prices as we invent together.
“There is significant work and opportunity ahead, and we’re thrilled to get started.”
Whole Foods co-founder and chief executive John Mackey added: “It’s been our mission for 39 years at Whole Foods Market to bring the highest quality food to our customers.
“By working together with Amazon and integrating in several key areas, we can lower prices and double down on that mission and reach more people with Whole Foods Market’s high-quality, natural and organic food.
“As part of our commitment to quality, we’ll continue to expand our efforts to support and promote local products and suppliers. We can’t wait to start showing customers what’s possible when Whole Foods Market and Amazon innovate together.”
Following the acquisition, Whole Foods will continue to be led by Mackey and its headquarters will remain in Austin, Texas.