As the acquisition of Whole Foods by Amazon for $13.7 billion closed Monday, immediate changes were seen inside the upscale grocer with prominent displays of Alexa-powered products such as the Echo and Echo Dot. In Amazon’s hometown of Seattle, several Whole Foods stores displayed banners giving discounts on the Echo and Echo Dot. The highly visible banners, under the title “Farm Fresh” and “Pick of the Season” offered the two products at $99.99 and $44.99 from a high of $179.99 and $49.99 respectively.
With the Echo and other devices anchored on Alexa being introduced into Whole Foods, it will be interesting to see how Amazon intends to integrate them to be useful to shoppers at the grocery chain. This could be in the form of voice ordering groceries or ready-made sandwiches.
Amazon promised far reaching changes on closing the deal and Whole Foods employees were seen over the weekend preparing to implement them. The changes which began Monday have resulted in price reductions across several items including creamy and crunchy almond butter, organic avocados, animal-welfare-rated 85% lean ground beef, 365 Everyday Value organic butter, organic large brown eggs, organic baby kale, organic responsibly-farmed salmon and tilapia, organic Gala and Fuji apples, organic rotisserie chicken and Whole Trade organic bananas.
Amazon indicated that its Prime membership program will be integrated into Whole Foods as the company aims to reduce prices at the grocery store and develop a loyalty program. Whole Foods Market’s private label products for example 365 Everyday Value, Whole Foods Market, Whole Paws and Whole Catch will also become available through Amazon.com, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry and Prime Now. Amazon Lockers package pickup machines will also be placed in some Whole Foods stores.