Amazon To Lower Whole Foods Prices Starting Monday

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United Kingdom supermarket shares have taken a hit after Amazon said it was planning a round of price cuts when it completes its $13.7bn takeover of upmarket grocery chain Whole Foods. "But with Amazon lowering Whole Foods' prices, you could get Whole Foods in towns where you don't traditionally see them", supermarket analyst David J. Livingston said. The company also said certain Whole Foods products will be available through Amazon.com, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry and Prime Now.

"Part of what Amazon is trying to do is translate that higher frequency traffic to Whole Foods", said Mike Levin, co-founder of Consumer Intelligence Research Partners LLC.

One of the most interesting benefits of this merger is that in select stores, customers will be able to have products sent from Amazon.com to their Whole Foods store to be picked up.

"There was a lot of speculation that Whole Foods might be left as more of an independent entity, at least in the beginning phases of the acquisition", she said.

But industry experts say the Google-WalMart deal has little chance of getting in the way of Amazon's ambitions.

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A ranking member of the Senate's Antitrust Subcommittee wants a top U.S. regulator to explain why it was so quick to approve Amazon's purchase of high-end grocery chain Whole Foods.

Some of the market's best selling staples will be more cost efficient thanks to Amazon. Another change would make Prime the loyalty rewards program for Whole Foods customers.

Amazon said that starting on Monday it will cut prices on organic grocery staples such as bananas, avocados, brown eggs, farmed salmon and tilapia, baby kale and lettuce, some apples, butter and other products. The two companies will invent in additional areas over time, including in merchandising and logistics, to enable lower prices for Whole Foods Market customers.

That distribution includes Whole Foods' prepared foods, meaning Amazon will be competing with Uber-style food delivery startups like GrubHub, Foodler and UberEats. They can also do product returns to Amazon via their Whole Food store.

"This has been a perennial problem for Whole Foods with no good solution". The program is still being tested in the main Whole Foods chain. This, combined with Amazon's growing retail empire, should have caused the FTC to take a much more careful look at the deal than they did in Klobuchar's eyes.

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