Amazon.com said it will cut prices on a range of popular goods as it completes its acquisition of Whole Foods Market, sending shares of rival grocers tumbling on fears that brutal market share battles will intensify.
Ben Bienvenu, a research analyst at Stephens, noted that Sprouts has more overlap than other retailers with Whole Foods' business and attributed the outsized decline in Sprouts' shares to "the price changes that we've seen in Whole Foods' stores" and "exposure to Texas and potential for some store closures associated with Hurricane Harvey". In a regulatory filing, Whole Foods said 72% of its shareholders approved the deal, and that Amazon paid former investors about $13.55 billion, or $42 a share.
Amazon's website also reflects the discounts on the devices, along with a discount for the Amazon Tap.
"There's already a price push across the board", said McQuivey.
Its been our mission for 39 years at Whole Foods Market to bring the highest quality food to our customers, said John Mackey, Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO. "Everybody should be able to eat Whole Foods Market quality". "As a student I buy just what's on sale", she said, positively reacting to the drop. But maintaining the "Whole Paycheck" moniker would go against what Amazon sees as a way to draw in a larger demographic beyond the affluent shoppers Whole Foods typically attracts.
And it could entice some current Prime members that might have ruled out Whole Foods shopping previously.
Organic fuji apples and bananas were among the most heavily discounted foods.
Whole Foods Market's healthy and high-quality private label products - including 365 Everyday Value, Whole Foods Market, Whole Paws and Whole Catch - will be available through Amazon.com, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry and Prime Now.
Wilke called these efforts "just the beginning", saying that the newly integrated companies would "continuously lower prices as we invent together". And Amazon Lockers will soon be placed in select Whole Foods stores, so customers can pick up e-commerce orders or send back returns during a grocery run. She picked out a rotisserie-cooked half chicken for lunch at the NY store. Then again, who's to say Amazon didn't want to get into the slow-growing, no-margin grocery business? Amazon increases its purchasing power and negotiating ability, which should allow for lower prices.
"What they're really doing is they bought 440 distribution centers", said Pachter, referring to the rough number of Whole Foods locations in the U.S.
In 2015, New York City's Department of Consumer Affairs accused Whole Foods of systematically overcharging their customers for pre-packaged foods, in what inspectors said was the worst case of mislabeling they had been in their careers.