Amazon has announced that devices, such as the Amazon Echo, Fire TV, and Kindle e-reader, will be sold at more than 100 Whole Foods Market stores this holiday season, shifting the chain away from its natural food and body brand identity.
Several Whole Foods stores will also feature pop-up shops where staff members will offer demos of Amazon Prime, Prime Video, and other Amazon services.
The company also announced discounted prices on the Echo Dot, Amazon Echo, Echo Plus, Kindle Papwerwhite, Amazon Cloud Cam, Fire 7 Tablet, and Fire HD Tablet at Whole Foods Market stores in advance of the holidays.
“Tis the season for Whole Foods Market customers to get a head start on their holiday gifting by taking advantage of upcoming Black Friday deals,” reads the company press release, noting that “these collaborative programs are another step forward in the integration between the companies.”
This is only the latest way in which Amazon has attempted to use Whole Foods as a brick-and-mortar display for its products since its acquisition of the natural foods chain at the end of August. Food Dive cites, for example, Amazon's heavily ridiculed choice to put up a display of Echo Dots in Whole Foods Market stores along with a sign reading “farm fresh.”
“Amazon’s holiday plans certainly raise questions about how much the company might change Whole Foods stores,” reports the outlet. “It’s not hard to imagine Amazon making devices, demo booths and other offerings permanent fixtures inside the stores. Some wonder, in fact, if Whole Foods will become more like Apple stores in their showcasing of company technology.”
Many Whole Foods stores already sell clothing and household and kitchen goods that could also see expansion, putting it firmly head-to-head with other big box retailers like Target and Walmart.
During a recent earnings call earlier this month, CFO Brian Olsavsky said that Amazon and Whole Foods would be seeing “a lot of integration, a lot of touch points and a lot of working together as we go forward,” something that Quartz reported pointed towards Amazon conceiving of using the Whole Foods infrastructure as a way to “build itself into the real, physical lives of everyday Americans.”
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