Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Are Amazon and Whole Foods Divorcing?

Retail grocery is hard. And then you have the whole Julian calendar thing....
From Fox Business:

Amazon, Whole Foods divorcing, or just working on their marriage?
Despite expectations that Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods would revolutionize the grocery delivery industry, the corporate marriage has been subject to consumer criticism and, according to a published report, the consumer giants are searching for new ways to make their partnership work -- either that or just undoing the union. 

In fact, the New York Times reported Monday that Amazon is quietly exploring new grocery options, probably separate from Whole Foods, that would be built for in-store shopping as well as pickup and delivery.

Amazon spokeswoman, Rachel Hass, said the company “doesn’t comment on rumors or speculation.”
Before the marriage of the pair in 2017 for a whopping $13.4 billion, Amazon and Whole Foods were struggling – Amazon as an afterthought for food consumers and Whole Foods as an elitist specialty grocer. Their union put Amazon in the $700 billion grocery market and traditional grocery stocks fell as investors feared their industry would undergo the same kind of upheaval that other ones have experienced once Amazon grabs market share. Since their collaboration, Whole Foods has subtly rebranded with more national producers.

Whole Foods employees who observed the transition reported assembly-line style changes that were unlike the Austin-based company’s original brand promise. In an investigation by the Miami Herald, employees reported that managers conducted pop quizzes and completed spot checks with scorecards....