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How Is Amazon Leveraging the Whole Foods Acquisition?

Coresight Research

Key Points

In the two-plus years since its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market, Amazon has gained valuable insight into consumer behavior and physical retail.

  • Amazon has used Whole Foods to connect physical and online grocery. For example, selected Whole Foods stores now offer Prime members a curbside pickup service for online orders made through Prime Now.
  • Amazon is taking a two-pronged approach to brick-and-mortar grocery retailing, with the rollout of Amazon Go stores complementing its acquisition of Whole Foods. Amazon Go’s data-rich environment can capture valuable consumer information that is not accessible to most grocery stores.
  • We think these ventures represent an acknowledgment by Amazon that it cannot win major share in grocery with a pure-play online model.
  • Amazon plans to open a new chain of grocery stores in the US, according to a 2019 Wall Street Journal report. We expect learnings from Whole Foods and Amazon Go to inform any future grocery-store formats.

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