Reports: Amazon to Halt Whole Foods 365 Expansion
AUSTIN, TX - Whole Foods may be switching up its strategy in 2019, ditching attempts to avoid that infamous “Whole Paycheck” stigma. In an internal email obtained by Yahoo Finance, CEO John Mackey said to staff that the company will halt growth of its discount-focused Whole Foods 365 markets. In the email, Mackey said the price gaps between 365’s and its traditional stores have become “less relevant” as the company has worked to lower its pricing overall.
"As we have been consistently lowering prices in our core Whole Foods Market stores over the past year, the price distinction between the two brands has become less relevant," Mackey wrote. "As the company continues to focus on lowering prices over time, we believe that the price gap will further diminish. As a result, we have decided that it's in the best long-term interest of the company to concentrate our efforts on growing the core Whole Foods Market brand moving forward."
365 by Whole Foods Market was launched in May 2016, and in the years since, the company has opened 12 locations under the banner. According to Mackey’s note, all 12 of these stores will remain open and integrate into the company’s current regional structure. He also confirmed that there will be no changes for 365 store Team Members. Global 365 Team Members will be placed within new roles at the company, Mackey added, and no Team Members are expected to be displaced. Jeff Turnas, President of 365 by Whole Foods Market, will soon be transitioned into a new role at the company.
Mackey’s revelation comes a little under a year and a half since Whole Foods was acquired by Amazon in a $13.7 billion deal that closed August 2017. Amazon has since made efforts to lower prices at Whole Foods, introducing more affordable fresh produce and discounts for members of Amazon Prime.
As Amazon continues to shore up its strategy for running Whole Foods Market, AndNowUKnow will keep providing our readers with the latest updates.