Today, Amazon announced its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market is expected to close on Monday. And the effects from the deal will be felt immediately in the aisles, on the web and at the register as the two companies share core competencies with one another.
And there’s one piece of news in particular that other grocery chains might find hard to swallow. The e-commerce giant said it will immediately begin to deflate some of the grocer’s sky high prices. Starting Monday, the cost of select organic produce like apples and avocados as well as pantry staples like almond butter and organic dairy items, including butter, will drop.
“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,” Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, said in the company’s news release.
Even with the price adjustments, Whole Foods co-founder and CEO John Mackey said the supermarket will continue its commitment to local suppliers and natural and organic food.
Amazon shoppers will be able to add Whole Foods’ private label products to their Amazon carts. The e-tailer will further tie the stores together by placing lockers in some of the grocer’s 460 locations, allowing consumers to pick up and return their Amazon purchases during their shopping trips.
The company is also working toward integrating its Prime program into the stores, making it the rewards program, offering discounts and other benefits.
As retailers with physical footprints continue to look for ways to integrate online with offline, online pureplays are focused on making inroads into brick and mortar stores. In fact, property managers often list these Internet businesses as some of their best new tenants. The Amazon/Whole Foods deal, in particular, underscores the value of having a physical presence.