Amazon slashes Whole Foods prices – Consumer News

on Aug29

28 August 2017 | 6:31 pm

Atop cereal, peeled and . . . what’s the other way Max Linderman, a 9-year-old South Loop resident, likes to eat bananas?

“In banana bread,” Linderman’s brother Elliot, 7, shouted in response, bouncing against his family’s Whole Foods Market cart, which was filled with the discounted fruit.

Priced at just 49 cents a pound, down 14 percent from the day before, bananas were just one item Amazon discounted on its first day as the owner of Whole Foods. Amazon cut prices at the grocery chain by as much as 43 percent today.

At the store on Canal Street and Roosevelt Road in the South Loop, New York strip steak was marked down to $13.99 a pound from $18.99; a pack of 12 organic large brown eggs went to $3.99 from $4.39; salted butter fell to $3.49 from $3.99; and the price for pasture-raised 85 percent lean ground beef was slashed to $4.99 a pound from $6.99.

Marked-down items had orange signs reading “Whole Foods + Amazon.” Signs showed the old and new prices.

Elliot, dressed in a Cubs jersey, with floppy blond hair, said he hoped his family’s savings would be invested in more bananas.

Amazon’s $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods promises to upend the way customers shop for groceries. Cutting prices at the chain with such an entrenched reputation for high cost that its nickname is “Whole Paycheck” is a sign that Amazon is serious about taking on competitors such as Wal-Mart Stores, Kroger and Costco.

“More people are going to shop here for sure,” Helen Williams, 37, of Chicago said of Whole Foods’ price cuts. She added: “I’ve been waiting for a price drop to give those of us who commit to them a break.”

Williams estimated she spends $100 a week on dairy and meat products at Whole Foods. Although she said it’d be cheaper if she bought the products at her nearby Jewel-Osco—where she buys cleaning supplies, rice and salad dressing to save money—Williams is not willing to compromise on the quality of her chicken legs and ground beef. She does compare the price of organic fruits at both grocery stores, though. Now that prices for bananas have been slashed, maybe she’ll give Whole Foods more of her business, she said with a shrug.

Willa Douglas, on the other hand, said she doesn’t want Whole Foods competing with Jewel, Costco or any other grocery store, despite saving 23 percent on her fillet of Atlantic salmon, paying $9.99 a pound instead of $12.99.

Whole Foods offers specialty, high-quality products shoppers can’t find anywhere else, Douglas said. Before the South Loop store opened near her home, she drove to the Evanston branch multiple times a week to shop.

In Amazon’s quest to undercut competition, Douglas said she hopes the products and selection at her favorite grocery store remain the same.

“I hope the lowering of prices does not mean the lowering of quality,” she said.

Bloomberg contributed.



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