Whole Foods may no longer be called "Whole Paycheck"

Marielle Segarra Aug 25, 2017
HTML EMBED:
COPY
A view of a Whole Foods Market in Brooklyn, New York.  Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Whole Foods may no longer be called "Whole Paycheck"

Marielle Segarra Aug 25, 2017
A view of a Whole Foods Market in Brooklyn, New York.  Spencer Platt/Getty Images
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Shopping at Whole Foods is about to get cheaper. Amazon, which is buying the supermarket chain for nearly $14 billion, just announced that it’ll slash prices at the grocery stores starting Monday, when the acquisition goes through. 

On the very first day Amazon officially owns Whole Foods, it’s going to lower the price of items like bananas, avocados, salmon and kale. We don’t know yet exactly how cheap the products will be.

Amazon is also integrating Whole Foods into its business, so people will be able to buy the brand on Amazon.com. 

This is a typical move for Amazon — the company’s known for moving quickly and for its cheap prices. Ironically, it’s the opposite approach of Whole Foods, which, in an extreme example, once got flak for charging $6 for asparagus water (the bottle included three stalks of asparagus in it). 

What does this shift mean for the supermarket industry as a whole?

Food retailers like Kroger and Walmart have whittled down their prices to compete with each other and with Amazon. One advantage these chains had over Amazon was their brick-and-mortar stores. If you want to buy fresh food like salmon or eggs, you’re probably not going to do it online.

Now that Amazon has access to Whole Food stores, and it’s planning to sell these products at lower prices, these chains will have more competition. We saw some of the disruption reflected in the markets yesterday — Kroger’s shares fell more than 8 percent after the announcement, while Walmart’s dipped 2 percent.

In total, the news ended up wiping out nearly $12 billion in market value from grocery stores on Thursday. 

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.  

Need some Econ 101?

Our new Marketplace Crash Course is here to help. Sign-up for free, learn at your own pace.