Your neighborhood Whole Foods Market is about to get a lot bigger. And it may start to feel more like shopping at Target or Walmart than the organic and natural food marketplace it currently is.
According to a recent report on Bloomberg, the Amazon.com owned grocery stores are becoming the brick and mortar network for the online giant.
“The world’s largest online retailer is searching for bigger Whole Foods locations in cities that can serve as both grocery stores and urban distribution centers for delivering goods to online shoppers more quickly,” reports Bloomberg. “Amazon is seeking more retail space that can accommodate grocery aisles and storage for the most popular items purchased from Amazon’s website, like consumer electronics, bestselling books and yoga pants.”
Some of the store locations will also see some of the much-coveted parking lots converted into delivery stalls for Amazon contractors, particularly in areas with high concentrations of Amazon Prime subscribers, so that the stores can accommodate its shoppers.
“We continue to see signs of Amazon’s further integration with Whole Foods,” said John Nahas, vice president of investments for Regency Centers, which leases space to the supermarket chain.
Since acquiring Whole Foods last summer, Amazon has made several changes impacting the chain including lowering prices on some core items, offering two-hour Prime delivery on groceries from Whole Foods, and five percent cash-back earnings for Prime members.
But not all the changes have been so positive. Whole Foods has alienated some of its core vendor partners with the recent announcement that it would be requiring a three percent discount on brands with sales of more than $300,000.
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