Hold onto your organic vegetables, because Jeff Bezos plans to make trips to his newly purchased Whole Foods stores a lot like a visit to his website. After announcing plans to acquire the food retailer earlier this summer, Amazon expects the deal to close on Monday. And when it does, changes are going to made—fast.
The most aggressive of the tweaks will be a slashing of prices. In a press release, the e-commerce giant explained that it would “lower prices beginning Monday on a selection of best-selling grocery staples,” including bananas, salmon, eggs, avocados, ground beef, and, naturally, organic baby kale. That (frankly inevitable) decision is already panicking other supermarkets, because while prices will still be higher than those at, say, Trader Joe’s, they might be cut enough to pull a few higher-rollin’ shoppers from cheaper supermarkets.
Other changes will be made to stores to get people through the door, too. In the future, Amazon plans to use its Prime membership system as a rewards program at Whole Foods, so that members get special savings and offers. And as Mike Levin, a cofounder of Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, tells Bloomberg, “Prime customers are very suggestible and leadable, extremely loyal and spend a lot more at Amazon than others.”
And here’s the kicker: Amazon delivery lockers will also be installed in the stores. That means customers will be able to do their (slightly cheaper) food shop, gather their Prime rewards, and pick up their latest online impulse purchase all at the same time. In other words, the ultimate convenience of Amazon is hitting the grocery store—which makes the Jeff Bezos vision of taking over the mall seem rather more real than ever.