Amazon and Whole Foods: what next?

The dust is starting to settle on what some believe is the game-changing entry of Amazon into ‘proper’ grocery retailing. A couple of days ago I came across this link from FoodDive which adds a little more context. Firstly, this comes on the back of my post two weeks ago on the need for successful retailers to put omnichannel at the heart of their business. Secondly, here in the UK there is no need – yet – for the established retailers to run for the hills. Whole Foods has a small, almost insignificant presence on the ground right now. But the final strand was the Whole Foods positioning. A store rooted in organic and whole food values was not going to resonate widely enough either here or across the pond with the volume of customers Amazon is presumably eyeing. And so this snippet quoting Whole Foods CEO John Mackey puts another piece in the jigsaw. The Whole Foods of the future may not even be Whole Foods – or certainly not the sole proposition. The wholefoods sector in the US gives Amazon plenty to be going on with and will be a solid base on which to grow and diversify. I am inclined to think that it is the ‘new’ proposition that will land here in the UK, where the same sector is not large enough to serve Amazon’s ambitions. And of course this needs to integrate with the fledgling Amazon Fresh project. It’ll be fascinating to see how it unfolds.

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