Whole Foods Market Kicks Off 2019 Expansion Plan
AUSTIN, TX - Whole Foods Market is heading into new markets in the new year as the retailer looks to put more locations on the map and help shoppers nationwide tap into Amazon’s two-hour delivery service. The specialty grocer currently operates around 479 stores, and new stores would help position it against a few of Amazon’s biggest competitors in the brick-and-mortar arena.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a person familiar with the plan revealed Whole Foods representatives have visited Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming—three markets currently lacking Whole Foods locations—as possible spots to set up new 45,000-square-foot stores. These stores are larger than typical Whole Foods stores in order to integrate Amazon online orders, delivery, and pickup into its brick-and-mortar format.
As Whole Foods and Amazon expand, Forbes posits whether the two could be eyeing an acquisition of a major grocery distributor, like UNFI or SpartanNash. While Amazon has a good relationship with both distributors, the news source reports a merger or two could occur in 2019 to streamline the grocery supply chain. However, Forbes also asserts that if Amazon does not add a grocery distributor to its portfolio, the e-tail giant could be building its own supply chain and logistics network.
Spokespeople from Amazon and Whole Foods have declined to comment on new store construction and spending regarding the specialty grocer’s 2019 expansion.
Will Amazon and Whole Foods Market continue to shock the grocery sector in 2019? AndNowUKnow will continue to report on fresh produce and grocery expansions, acquisitions, and growth.