On top of that, Amazon plans to integrate its two-hour delivery program Prime Now to all current Whole Foods outlets. The move stands to put Whole Foods at an expansion rate it's never experienced before.
Whole Foods Expansion Plans
The Wall Street Journal reports Whole Foods employees have already gone to parts of Idaho, Wyoming, and southern Utah to look for potential retail spaces. According to an anonymous source, these spaces were sometimes 45,000 square feet, slightly larger than an average Whole Foods outlet.
The expansion isn't limited to those aforementioned states, however, as the report adds that Amazon is looking at other regions as well. Whole Foods had already expanded earlier this year by launching 365-branded stores. These tend to be smaller than typical mainline outlets, focus mainly on locally sourced products, and offer more affordable groceries than other options.
Such expansions occurred as other supermarket chains shut down operations and left leases to expire, which gave Amazon plenty of opportunity to double down on vacant retail spaces.
Amazon's expansion plans also involve bringing its Prime Now service to all Whole Foods retail outlets, which means groceries delivered to customers' front steps in as little as two hours. Prime subscription service is currently offered in more than 60 cities, with online grocery pickups from Whole Foods stories in available in 30 minutes. Amazon also wants to leverage benefits for Prime members to attract new customers to Whole Foods and draw them back more often.
Amazon Prime costs $119 a year for two-day free shipping and a number of other perks, such as access to Prime Video, Amazon's streaming service, and others. Students, meanwhile, are only required to pay $59 a year.
Amazon has yet to comment about the rumored expansion.
Whole Foods Acquisition
As mentioned, Amazon snapped up Whole Foods in 2017 for a whopping $13.7 billion, a move the came after Amazon had struggled to see significant growth in the sale of food on its platform. At the time, critics argued the buyout would give Amazon an opportunity to monopolize not only the online retail market but the brick-and-mortar landscape as well. Despite this, the Federal Trade Commission allowed the purchase in August 2017.
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