August 29, 2017

BLUE-LIGHT SPECIAL: Amazon slashes Whole Foods prices by up to 43 percent on first day.

Amazon had said last week that it would cut prices when the deal closed so that Whole Foods — whose natural and organic products often carried premium prices that resulted in the upscale chain being derisively dubbed “Whole Paycheck” — would instead start to become “affordable for everyone.”

“It’s impressive they would execute the pricing strategy so quickly,” said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst at

More price cuts on more items are expected at the 470 Whole Foods stores in the United States, Canada and Britain, and Whole Foods said the price cuts were not temporary.

It’s that aggressive approach to pricing, a hallmark of Amazon, that has sent shock waves through the $611-billion U.S. grocery industry.

Whole Foods had experimented with cutting prices to drive more food traffic, but without much success. I suspect part of the reason may have been a consumer expectation that, Whole Foods being Whole Foods, the cuts would be short-lived. With Amazon in charge, the expectation game might change.

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