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Did Amazon Really Lower Whole Foods' Prices? (bustle.com) 122

While Whole Foods "strategically marked down select items like avocados and almond milk, overall prices have dropped very slightly -- about 1 percent -- since Amazon ownership, according to an analysis by research firm Gordon Haskett." An anonymous reader quotes Bustle: This hardly seems like big savings, and Gordon Haskett noted that since the initial price cuts in August, the cost of some items have been slowly ticking back up. "The price of frozen foods, for example, was 7 percent higher on Sept. 26 than on Aug. 28, when Amazon officially took over," Abha Bhattarai reported for the Post, which is owned by Amazon. "Snack items had risen 5.3 percent in that period, while dairy and yogurt were up 2 percent. (Among categories where prices are lower: Beverages, down about 2.8 percent; bread and bakery, down 6.8 percent; and produce, down 0.5 percent...)"

For shoppers like me who buy mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, it did feel like I was saving money. However, one industry insider said there is a strategy behind how prices are cut. "The whole game is that you want the 100 most recognizable things -- milk, apples, bananas -- to be cheaper," Jan Rogers Kniffen, an industry consultant and former department store executive, told the Post. "If you can do that, you can build a perception that the whole store is competitively priced."

From July through September, Whole Foods brought in $1.3 billion in sales for Amazon.
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Did Amazon Really Lower Whole Foods' Prices?

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  • by EvilSS ( 557649 ) on Saturday October 28, 2017 @09:33PM (#55451407)
    " overall prices have dropped very slightly -- about 1 percent " so the yes. /article
    • " overall prices have dropped very slightly -- about 1 percent "

      so the yes. /article

      Though the past tense is important as the prices are going back up. They did lower it... By a single percent point. For a month or so.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      No one at Whole Foods cares about prices anyway. What a stupid article.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Whole Foods customers absolutely care about price. Ever heard of a Veblen good? [wikipedia.org]

        • I remember shopping there one time and then saying, "Oh, that's why they call it Whole Paycheck" and going other places ever since. Their customers might actually not really care.

          Check out how much higher their prices really are before you decide their customers care.

  • 1 %
  • not going to happen (Score:5, Interesting)

    by known_coward_69 ( 4151743 ) on Saturday October 28, 2017 @09:42PM (#55451445)

    in nyc whole foods is in the most expensive rent parts of the city. no way prices are dropping. at least not on the stuff lazy millennials will buy the most of, like frozen foods.

    for me, I go there for the fresh fruits and veggies

    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      Pretty much Whole Foods has become a place to get drunk on wine while buying prepared food for dinner. 20 years ago they started realizing they could make a lot of money by selling 'natural' junk food. On the other hand, there things that Whole Foods has that are a good value or simply are hard to find.

      Amazon likely bought whole foods simply to expand the Amazon Fresh program and to have a local store from for pickup and returns. It probably does not need to increase sales, as it is looking for, I thin

      • Those who want to be ripped at at Krogers unless they show their papers will continue to make that choice.

        If you're concerned about presenting a plastic card with an ID # that need not be tied to your name, I certainly hope you don't pay with a credit card.

        • by fermion ( 181285 )
          If credit cards were as effective as tracking purchases and customers as 'loyalty cards', then stores would not incur the expense of running the programs.

          Also, if a store wants to give me something extra, that is great. A free piece of chocolate every month with purchase. Or a free pair of underwear every month. But don't jack up the prices and then pretend you are giving me a discount. Many retailers have been fined for such practices, and the one retailer who really started the practice back late in

          • If credit cards were as effective as tracking purchases and customers as 'loyalty cards', then stores would not incur the expense of running the programs.

            Stating the obvious, with a loyalty card they can track purchases across payment methods, so for some people it could be more effective on the margins. But I'm not sure what that really has to do with my comment (or your "show your papers" language I was addressing). My point was that if you really consider presenting a quasi-anonymous ID # at the time of purchase to be "showing your papers," it's hard to see how you could feel good about providing a definitive ID # to them by paying with a credit card th

      • Those who want to be ripped at at Krogers unless they show their papers will continue to make that choice.

        Pick just about any store and you can probably use Jenny's number for the stalker discount. (your area code) 867-5309. If someone else hasn't already done it, you be the one.

      •   Those who want to be ripped at at Krogers unless they show their papers will continue to make that choice.

        Ooooh, Krogers tracks my grocery purchasing habits. Therefor something something 1984 chemtrails something.

  • Amazon serfs (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by DogDude ( 805747 )
    Keep giving your paychecks to Amazon, you dumb fucks. Keep going.
  • Meanwhile, crude oil went from $46 to $52, an 11% increase. Unlike what the article suggests, Whole Foods is actually cutting prices, just not relative to the dollar.
    • by lucm ( 889690 )

      Meanwhile, crude oil went from $46 to $52, an 11% increase.

      The increase percentage was even bigger (14%) for the people who use a non-broken calculator

      • An increase of $6 (52 - 46) from $46 represents a 13% increase.
        6 / 46 = 0.130434783, according to my calculator.
        • by lucm ( 889690 )

          An increase of $6 (52 - 46) from $46 represents a 13% increase.

          6 / 46 = 0.130434783, according to my calculator.

          Oil prices always round UP, so it's 14%

          • Nice try. Oil prices may round up, but we are talking about percentage increases of oil prices. It's a subtle difference, I guess.
          • Oil prices always round UP, so it's 14%

            It's not that oil prices always round up, but that crude increases get reflected immediately in the price of refined products, while when crude drops, you have to wait for the price to "propagate through the magic one-way supply chain."

    • It takes 3 months for prices of crude oil to reflect refineries and of course the price gougers errr I mean the buyers and sellers get the gasoline only to sell it again to gas stations. Notice when oil lost 75% that prices only went down 50%. The people buying and selling double dip before and after it is refined.

      • This is one of those things that everyone knows for sure. There were so many complaints about it in the UK that the OFT investigated and found it to be total bollocks.

        Of course, that's the kind of thing you'd expect from commies without guns. Probably staffed by the same people who run the death panels.

  • you shouldn't be shopping at Whole Foods to start with.

  • Protip. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by msauve ( 701917 ) on Saturday October 28, 2017 @09:57PM (#55451495)
    Whole Foods is not where you go to save money.
  • by AndyKron ( 937105 ) on Saturday October 28, 2017 @10:21PM (#55451553)
    Why would anybody shop there in the first place? Sounds scammy to me
    • Why would anybody shop there in the first place? Sounds scammy to me

      Because in many places, if you want organic this and that and GMO-free this and that, it's the only option because there are no food coops, farmer's markets, or Trader Joe's.

      So if you live "in the city" it all depends on if you want organic/GMO-free. If not, you can certainly find a store with healthy food at a cheaper price.

      HOWEVER: Where food coops and Trader Joe's DO do exist in close proximity, it's a "status symbol" thing.

      Plus, they have a hipster bar with a dozen or so micro brews where you can orde

    • Why would anybody shop there in the first place? Sounds scammy to me

      It's the grocery store in the nice neighborhood, and therefore on the way home from work. No matter what, it's going to be more expensive than other places, but still have to show perceived added value over other places so people don't get angry enough to go someplace else. I've seen the same thing at QFCs. As the neighborhood becomes more affluent, the deli and cheese bar gets bigger, the alcohol selection get larger on the top end, and the cheap brands disappear for more expensive brands. Meanwhile, Red A

  • by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Saturday October 28, 2017 @10:30PM (#55451579)

    I knew what the article summary says going in - they probably only cut the price on a handful of popular things, things I probably wouldn't buy there anyway...

    However it did get me back into the store just to look at it, so mission accomplished. They actually have several things there I like quite a lot that are unique to the store, so while I don't do much general shipping there I do go back about once a month to get a few things.

    I am a little surprised the convergence with Amazon has not meant more though. Not even a little discount for being Prime for example?? Seems like they have a huge potential to make small changes that would make people even a little more likely to come in.

  • ... since the initial price cuts in August, the cost of some items have been slowly ticking back up.

    It didn't take a genius to see this coming, only someone who had previous dealings with Amazon's so-called Subscribe And Save program. It promised exactly the same lie. They are merely repeating the same tactic in brick and mortar.

  • ... since the initial price cuts in August, the cost of some items have been slowly ticking back up ...

    Amazon buys Whole Foods and lowers the prices on some items. Amazon gets all manner of free press about the lower prices. Once the initial attention wears off, Amazon slowly raises the prices back to prior levels. This doesn't surprise me. What surprises me is that others seem to be surprised at this chain of events.

  • Comparable to Kroger prices, where I mainly shop. The other food looks expensive. (I use WF mainly for fast food. One of the few places you can quickly get a wide choice of cooked veggies.)
  • They moved the tags closer to the floor.

  • This blind trust and worship of monopolies these days is unprecedented. While people debate fake bogey men political issues, we are losing competition and ultimately our freedoms to a handle full of monopolies.
  • Even being in middle class, it's distressing to get an $200 bill for a week worth of supplies from Safeway. Upon close inspection, prices are Ok for obvious stuff like milk but pretty outrageous for anything slightly unusual like shampoo. It's also not down to making the margins, as Costco and asian grocery stories obviously manage to survive without such tricks. I can afford to swallow the increase, but I feel really sorry for common people who can't afford to drive to a further away store or just are not

  • by thegarbz ( 1787294 ) on Sunday October 29, 2017 @07:23AM (#55452325)

    Given that they dropped their price on avocados and that some millionaires and politicians keep attributing the poor millennial's inability to afford to buy houses to their consumption of avocado on toast [theguardian.com] I would say Amazon's price drop is attempting to single-handedly solve* the housing affordability crisis facing our next generation.

    * For those of you who don't get the obvious sarcasm, this was obviously sarcastic.

  • "overall prices have dropped very slightly -- about 1 percent "

    Most groceries/supermarkets/discounters have less than 1% profit margin, at least in Europe.

  • reported for the Post, which is owned by Amazon.

    Why are we linking to shitty sources that lie, and including their lies in the summary? That Bustle article that's quoted has a clear grudge, they try to paint Amazon as big evil even after explaining the practice is commonplace among grocers. The stltoday article is a straight-up reprint of the original WaPo article that just doesn't link back to the original or the original sources. Bustle links back to the same WaPo article no less than five times, suggesting it's really just a repackaging of the same ar

  • I am not at all surprised by the findings. It succinctly summarizes the retail Food Industry in first-world nations.

    During "one of those conversations" ... note that this is purely anecdotical ... a casual acquaintance piped in about a discussion on the day's grocery purchases and people's general food buying preferences. I liked Safeway, due to the quality of fresh meat and produce offered there, and someone said that they shopped at The Great Canadian Superstore, another food reseller in western Canada, o

  • by nedlohs ( 1335013 ) on Sunday October 29, 2017 @11:07AM (#55452911)

    You aren't shopping at whole foods in the first place. So who cares?

  • from shopping at WF, because I know they'll be more expensive.
    The only time that I shop there is as a last resort, when some fruit/veg are going out of season, in the chance that they might have a better selection.

  • This is one of those lies that I first heard from Trump and he keeps repeating even though it's false. Amazon does NOT own the Washington Post, Jeff Bezos owns the Washington Post and happens to also be the CEO of Amazon. This does not place WaPo under Amazon's control.
  • Amazon does not own the Washington Post. Jeff Bezos != Amazon.

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