Partnerships / Acquisitions

Amazon Merger Brought Tech Changes, Whole Foods CEO Says

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey said the company's merger with Amazon has been enabling the grocery retailer to "think long term," Bloomberg reported.

"We’ve had three major price reductions, we’re beginning a fourth,” Mackey said, according to Bloomberg. “They’re making investments in technology for Whole Foods that I think will be transformative. And they’ve been respectful of our culture; they haven’t tried to just turn us into Amazon. So, the best way to answer that question is, ‘John, if you could do it all over again, would you make the same decision?’ And the answer is yes. It was the right decision for us."

Whole Foods was sold to Amazon in 2017 for $13.7 billion. Since then, Amazon has seen its grocery sales exponentially increase as it angled to get into that business, according to Bloomberg.

Mackey said a big merger is "like a marriage" in that one has to take the good along with the bad, Bloomberg reported.

"I’ve been married 30 years,” Mackey said, according to Bloomberg. “I love my wife, and I love maybe 99 percent of everything about her, and 1 percent I’m not so fond of. A merger’s similar. Amazon has a different culture than Whole Foods. We love most things about Amazon, and they probably love most things about Whole Foods. But, you know, not everything."

In terms of the pandemic, Mackey said Whole Foods has done better than other businesses, with a predictable uptick in online sales, Bloomberg reported.

Earlier this month, Mackey said that even after the pandemic is over someday, there would be a glut of shoppers who would not be going back to shopping in person. He said people are "purchasing differently," including using lists more often and entering and exiting stores in a hurry due to the threat of COVID-19.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.