Lisa Lee Freeman
How the Amazon-Whole Foods deal will make life better
UPDATE: Today, Amazon announced that its Whole Foods takeover is a done deal and to celebrate it will lower prices on "best-selling grocery staples," including bananas, salmon, brown eggs, beef, and more. Amazon also said that it will be offering special deals in Whole Foods stores for Prime members.
The Amazon deal to buy Whole Foods Market will be a win for shoppers! My guess is that it will drive down prices—and make shopping a lot more convenient. But the best deals might not be at Amazon. A new study by BMO Capital Markets shows that Coscto's prices are actually cheaper. And many price scans that I've seen over the years show that outside the warehouse clubs, Walmart and Target are the low-price leaders. If you haven't checked out Walmart.com or its Jet.com affiliate, don't shop for groceries online before you've compared prices at these sites.
As for convenience, Amazon will be the winner. I'm guessing it will transform Whole Foods stores into fresh-food meccas. People still like to pick out their own meat and produce, so I predict that Amazon will offer walk-in stores where people can shop for fresh foods—and also pick up prepackaged groceries ordered online. That would be a win-win for consumers!