In an all-cash transaction, giant online retailer Amazon purchased Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion this past Monday. That figure also seems like the average shopper's annual expenditure at Whole Foods (lovingly referred to by some as "Whole Paycheck").
In a news release issued by Amazon and Whole Foods Market (WFM), the companies pledged to offer lower prices on many items, including "Whole Trade organic bananas, responsibly farmed salmon, organic large brown eggs, animal-welfare-rated 85% lean ground beef, and more."
The company also announced a future program in which Amazon Prime members can receive special perks and additional in-store savings.
And in a move predicted by many observers, Whole Foods will offer lockers at local stores where customers can pick up Amazon orders. The locations can also be used as return drop-off points.
A visit to the North Miami store last night showed Amazon worked fast to implement the changes. At the entrance, a floor display touted "farm fresh" Amazon Echos for $99.99.
Employees hustled to keep up with customers who clamored to nab avocados and hormone-free ground beef on sale. The entire store had a party-like atmosphere, with demonstrators offering cups of discounted wine while quipping, "It's happy hour at Whole Foods."
Every single aisle has yellow or orange sale tags, and prices are slashed by as much as 75 percent, as is the case with bite-size crab cakes. Some offerings, such as a two-pound pack of salmon fillets for $19.98, were sold out, but other deals are to be had.
Organic Gala apples are $1.99 a pound, reduced from $2.99. Vine-ripened tomatoes are also $1.99, down from $2.49, and Kumato tomatoes are half-price (two packages for $6).
Feeding your avocado lust is now easier, with conventional Hass varieties now $1.49 — a buck less each than previously.
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Family staples such as pasta ($1.99), sauce ($2.79), and cereal are also better deals. Boxes of organic cereal (including gluten-free options) are now two for $6, making them a healthier buy than more commercial brands.
The best deal by far is on wine. Dark Horse from California is on sale for $7.99 a bottle, down from $9.99. The special is sweetened by the offer of a $3-off coupon for every two bottles purchased, dropping the price to $6.50 a bottle. The friendly wine demonstrators quickly reminded me that if I purchased six bottles (mix and match any wines in the store), I would receive an additional 10 percent off, bringing the total for six bottles of wine to $34.15. Beer lovers can find six-packs of Brooklyn Lager and Fat Tire for $7.99.
Amazon and WFM promise more deals to come and pledge to continue to expand, open new stores, and create more jobs in local communities. Whole Foods is poised to do something rare: retain its status as one of the 100 best places to work in the nation while lowering prices in a competitive marketplace.