When Amazon officially took over Whole Foods Market on Aug. 28, it made a splash in the retail industry by immediately lowering some prices at the grocer.
After more than one month, however, Whole Foods’ “Whole Paycheck” image has not drastically changed, according to data from research firm Gordon Haskett first reported by The Washington Post.
Amazon has lowered prices on items such as avocados, beverages, bananas and eggs, but overall, prices have only dropped by about 1 percent since Aug. 28, Gordon Haskett said.
Some items have even been marked up since Amazon’s first day in charge, the firm also reported. The price for frozen food climbed 7 percent between Aug. 28 and Sept. 26. Prices for snacks have risen 5.3 percent.
Market analysts say the balancing of prices is necessary for grocery stores when they slash prices on some items. It’s a common practice to mark down the most popular items because customers are more likely to notice, analysts say, even though the mark-down often means raising prices on other items.
There are also some early signs of success for Whole Foods post-deal.
Data analytics firm Thasos Group, which tracks location data from phones, recently reported that Whole Foods’ foot traffic increased 17 percent year-over-year during its first week under Amazon.
While Thasos said that percentage has since decreased, the group also found that multiple Whole Foods competitors initially saw some regular customers defect to Whole Foods after the deal with Amazon closed.
About 10 percent of regular Trader Joe’s customers, 8 percent of Sprouts customers and 3 percent of Target customers defected to Whole Foods on the first week of Whole Foods’ price reduction, Thasos said, though those numbers fell off by a couple of percentage points weeks after.
Amazon’s online retail was also boosted a bit. Near the end of August, Amazon placed more than 2,000 Whole Foods items into their online marketplace, and in the first week alone, sales totaled about $500,000 on those items, according to analytics firm One Click Retail.
While analysts and consumers still expect Amazon to make big changes to Whole Foods over time, the changes so far appear to be somewhat subtle. It’s likely that some time will have to pass until Amazon’s impact on Whole Foods can truly be measured.
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