Whole Foods recently overhauled its board and redoubled cost-cutting efforts, seeking to change a high-price image that has tagged it with the nickname "Whole Paycheck". It was truly love at first sight ... "These are great people with big hearts and big ideals that wanna make the world a better place and are making the world a better place".
And so we will be joining a company that's visionary.
Adrienne Anderson, at a Whole Foods in Savannah, Georgia, says she shops at Whole Foods nearly exclusively for meat and fresh produce "because of the quality and selection" and because fruits and vegetables are locally sourced. If you guys are going to be sold, we'd love to make one hundred million dollars doing that.
It's too soon to say what Amazon officially plans to do with Whole Foods, but rumors have been circling and experts have a few predictions. "We're not changing our quality standards", he told his employees.
Peter Arroyo, manager of Gristedes, had more on his mind regarding the Amazon-Whole Foods deal, which he predicted will "screw up the industry in all aspects", said Arroyo. "They put the customer first in everything they do and think backwards". This could be good news even if you don't shop at Whole Foods.
"We're gonna evolve", Mackey said. What the online retail behemoth is planning with the Whole Foods deal and its 460 brick and mortar locations throughout the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom is anyone's guess, but as Business Insider points out, this may be a pivotal step in the future of grocery shopping.
At the meet-up in Seattle, the executives spoke with Amazon for 2 1/2 hours, he said.
What exactly might these innovations be?
Amazon has been longing for a piece of the action and despite the launch of AmazonFresh over a decade ago, it is an industry that Jeff Bezos has found hard to get into.
Walmart is the nation's largest seller of groceries with category sales of $170 billion past year, and retail giant has found that the category is key to driving store visits and customer loyalty.
Mackey also said that he had a dream that Whole Foods would merge with Amazon about 18 months ago, presaging the industry-rattling deal.
It's not yet clear what specific changes are in store at either Amazon or Whole Foods, since the two companies are saying little about their plans. But they care about their team - their team members, their suppliers, their investors.
Amazon, like Wal-Mart, is known for using massive scale to offer low prices on everything from shoes and shirts to electronics and books.
There's been a lot of chatter that rivals might emerge to try and outbid Amazon for Whole Foods. The company has blamed the struggles on the wider availability of organic and natural food at traditional retailers, and said it is working on offering lower prices.
The Whole Foods chief said Amazon's technology will help the grocer transform from "class dunce" into "valedictorian". "He'll be very careful tinkering with anything that could hurt the value of the brand".
"One of the things they do better than us, they are more customer-centric than we are".
With its acquisition of Whole Foods, Amazon acquires a portfolio of a dozen stores in New York City, including one at the Time Warner Center and another on the way at Manhattan West, as well as the grocer's distribution-supply chain. Shoppers could pick up their purchases at a Whole Foods store near them the same way they're doing under the AmazonFresh Pickup program.