BOOKSHOP WITH pretensions Amazon has wasted no time in incorporating its newly acquired Whole Foods subsidiary around the world, including the UK.
In spite of only having a handful of branches in the territory, Amazon was ready from early doors yesterday (a bank holiday) as the deal closed to announce that customers of Amazon Fresh would be able to buy from Whole Foods' entire range as part of their weekly shop.
Large amounts of the stock, which in some cases had been reduced in price to reflect the existing deal with UK supermarket Morrisons (in some cases up to 43 per cent), is also available from its Prime Now service in city centres, which can deliver products from Amazon, Morrisons and now Whole Foods within the hour.
It wasn't clear whether the UK would see any differences on Day One of the $13.7bn takeover, but it soon became obvious that plans have been in place for some time and ready to roll out.
In Whole Foods bricks and mortar stores, Amazon's Echo and Echo Dot were put on sale, heavily reduced and ready to buy alongside the spelt and organic cannellini beans.
Whole Foods is well known for its high prices for posh foods, aimed at the "we saw you coming" end of the market. But Amazon looks set to change all that with the drop in prices effectively entering an entire infrastructure into the food retail business out of the blue to disrupt Tesco, Sainsbury's and, of course, Walmart-owned Asda (not to mention the budget supermarkets).
For Amazon, the appeal of a Whole Foods union is much clearer - it brings them to physical locations with a ready-made network.
But in the UK, where the name is an unknown quantity outside the organic Peach and Apple Kombucha community, the approach is different - get an identity to bolster their shopping service even further and take the battle to other home delivery supermarkets. And in that sense, judging from Day One, then it's very much Game On. µ
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