It has been six months since Amazon took over Whole Foods, a $13.4bn deal that made the internet retailer a major player in the world of brick-and-mortar retailing. For the most part, the 470 stores are still the same upscale, expensive healthy food emporiums that they have always been.
Amazon has grander ambitions as well. The company’s executives are busy devising ways to connect its Prime membership program, which offers benefits like fast and free shipping and video streaming, with the stores.
The company has said that Prime will eventually become the Whole Foods customer rewards program. It recently took a baby step in the direction of weaving together Prime and Whole Foods by giving Prime members 5 percent back on Whole Foods purchases made with an Amazon-branded Visa card. Whole Foods has signs about the offer all over its checkout stands.
Some of the changes Amazon has made are experiments limited to a few locations. Others, like price cuts on grocery staples, are widespread and a sign of more to come, its executives say.
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