One day after Amazon closed its acquisition of Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, shoppers at the high-end grocer’s South Lake Union location in Seattle were treated to a rare sight of John Mackey strolling through the store. The Whole Foods co-founder and CEO was seen around the store’s coffee shop.
The 64-year-old Mackey, dubbed the “Bill Gates of organic foods” was accompanied by a few other people during the visit and declined to comment on record when approached by GeekWire. However, from the conversation with GeekWire he seemed happy with the acquisition of the company he co-founded almost forty years ago in Austin, Texas.
Back in June, when the planned acquisition first came to light, Mackey expressed the same sentiment on his love for Amazon in the way they will be able to do things together. Speaking at a Whole Foods town hall meeting at the time, he described Amazon executives as authentic, smart and frank. When the deal closed on Monday the benefits to shoppers were immediate with a drop in prices for everyday items like eggs, tomatoes, apples, beef and salmon. Avocados benefited immensely from the changes with a price drop of 50 percent.
Price reduction was the first footprint of Amazon’s arrival in the grocery arena. Moving forward, other key elements of Amazon will feature in the Whole Foods’ system. These will include integration of Amazon’s Prime membership program into the Whole Foods checkout process and Amazon Lockers.
During that town hall meeting, the CEO had expressed confidence that Whole Foods would evolve in leaps and bounds with technology taking center stage to drive the grocer’s innovation plan based on Amazon’s reputation. Using Amazon’s technological advantage, he added that a lot of innovations would come out of their stores.
He said that the passion exhibited by Amazon around its customers was admirable and the fact that everything they do they put the customer first and then think backwards, is something that would definitely be adopted.