Ways Amazon Will Change Whole Foods, According to CEO John Mackey

Janie Parker
June 22, 2017

He said, for the time being, Amazon will be focused on the Whole Foods deal.

Amazon plans to keep the natural grocer's high standards, Whole Foods Chief Executive John Mackey said, adding, "They're not stupid enough to go change that". Mackey said mutual friends set the companies up on a "blind date" in Seattle about six weeks ago, and executives immediately hit it off.

But a GeekWire analysis of existing Whole Foods stores and Amazon distribution locations shows that Amazon won't be dramatically expanding its geographic footprint into new areas of the country as a result of the deal.

The line, according to the transcript, garnered laughter from employees in the room.

"While Amazon utilized Amazon Fresh to deliver groceries, the company now will be able to tap into the $611.9 billion brick-and-mortar grocery stores industry", she says. Amazon swallows up whole foods in a monster move, that will cost close to 14 billion dollars.

Technology is just one way Amazon stands to change Whole Foods and its culture, though. Amazon ultimately wants to sell consumers virtually everything they ever want to buy, and to do so it needs to offer convenience, value, and compelling products and services at every turn-including Whole Foods stores. "If there ever was a time crunch, I'd consider it", he said.

Mackey compared the relationship to an "old traditional marriage, where there are all kinds of rules and chaperones".

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"I think there's the argument that Amazon acquired Whole Foods for free", he said. I think we coulda talked for 10 hours.

"I dreamed that we merged with Amazon". It's worth noting that Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener told Bloomberg there are "no plans to use no-checkout technology to automate the jobs of cashiers at Whole Foods and no job reductions are planned".

And grocery may take a middle path, says Kimberly Scott, a portfolio manager at the Ivy Mid Cap Growth Fund, which counts Whole Foods stock as one of its biggest investments.

Turner noted that Whole Foods has large store footprints in most of GrubHub's key geographies, including California, Massachusetts, Illinois and NY.

Walmart is the nation's largest seller of groceries with category sales of $170 billion a year ago, and retail giant has found that the category is key to driving store visits and customer loyalty.

We're speculating a lot about what the Amazon-Whole Foods deal will mean in the short and long term. I don't know if you know that- they were, like, ranked the number-one most innovative company in the entire world.

Culpepper, who owns Kroger Co shares, said Kroger is the company that would be most likely improve Whole Foods' efficiency, but that it would have difficulty matching Amazon's cash offer.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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