I’ve done a few interviews about what I think will happen in the wake of Amazon buying Whole Foods.
First of all, I’m not in panic mode. From all I’ve seen, Amazon didn’t have groceries figured out (which is why they were picking up Whole Foods in the first place), and Whole Foods was losing market share to rivals like Kroger, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market and Lucky’s at an alarming rate.
I had some questions from mainstream journalists about my thoughts about what pressures this would put on suppliers, and while I do see some, it’s not something pretty much every other retailer does, if we’re going to be honest.
A new article over on AdWeek pointed out a curious pattern, though.
Whole Foods has gone eerily silent on local.
Author Joan Voight pointed out all of the buzz about #amazonwholefoods has been prices, prime, echos, Alexa, delivery, and did I mention PRICES?
They’re doing a fantastic job trying to shed that Whole Paycheck image by announcing cleverly-timed price reductions, including today’s Thanksgiving staple reductions on turkey, potatoes and the like.
But local promotions on Whole Foods’ website have been replaced with digital coupons, recipes, delivery options and customer testimonials. And sales. Don’t forget the sales.
The mission statement is all about affordability…not local.
I actually stopped by the downtown Austin flagship store this past weekend to check on an Envy apple promotion, and my family had lunch from the awesome eateries available. I thought back to my visit to the store and realized I didn’t really see any local producers being promoted.
One thing I did see? The amazon logo is on the door to the upstairs plaza now.
At the same time other retailers like Kroger, H-E-B, Wegmans, Publix, Raley’s and the like are promoting all things local, this is a curious development.
What have you seen? Is Whole Foods backing off on local promotions, or will this be the next wave of marketing we see out of Seattle/Austin?