• Amazon.com lockers, which are installed at over 75 Whole Foods locations, allow Amazon customers to pick up their packages in a secure location. This is leading to more short-term visits and impulse grocery buys at Whole Foods. At the grocery stores with lockers, three-to-five minute visits rose 11% since the Amazon acquisition, compared to a 7% rise in same-city stores without lockers. Whole Foods can capitalize further by curating its real estate near the lockers to showcase on-the-go items and providing time-efficient self-checkout options.
  • Amazon is rumored to have its sights set on expanding its offline presence to Toys R Us stores as the bankrupt toy retailer shuts them down. The spaces could showcase Amazon Echo and Alexa devices, or could lighten the burden off of Amazon’s fulfillment centers, especially as inventory storage and delivery services become more strained with Whole Foods added to the network. Either way, it would be a bitter end for Toys R Us, which at one point sold toys on Amazon’s platform, and whose downfall can largely be traced to Amazon commanding the toy market.
  • More than a dozen executives and senior managers have left Whole Foods—either by choice or by force—since the Amazon acquisition, raising flags about the veracity behind both companies’ claims that they share the same goals and have met great success since the merger in August 2017. Top-level management at Whole Foods has voiced concerns about the cultural fit for the Whole Foods brand within the Amazon ecosystem, lack of clarity from Amazon on how the grocery chain will be integrated into its network, and the bane of working with younger Amazon executives.
  • Whole Foods has also laid off a large portion of its regional marketing staff and store graphic artists to centralize operations and lower its operating costs—both key indicators of Amazon’s presence. The move fails to assuage concerns that the grocery chain could lose its local touch—the now-eliminated positions gave a spotlight to local producers and their products with customized chalk signs and vendor profiles.
  • Sixty-five percent of Amazon shoppers don’t notice ads, and 25% say they’re useful or relevant, according to a survey on Amazon shopper behavior from CPC Strategy. And as Amazon improves the technology behind its Alexa voice assistant—owned by 61.3% of survey respondents with a voice-enabled device—its marketing will only become more personalized. In turn, its advertising revenue will continue to grow—JP Morgan estimates that it could rise 61% in 2018, up to $4.5 billion compared to $2.8 billion in 2017.