Amazon and Whole Foods: Efficiency vs Community?

Amazon and Whole Foods: Efficiency vs Community?

April 12, 2018

Amazon’s strategic focus on efficiency and streamlined, centralized operations may be at odds with Whole Foods’ community connections and local vendors.

Whole Foods met with about 200 suppliers to discuss new plans under Amazon’s leadership, and many of the grocery chain’s smaller vendors are worried that they may lose business to suppliers who can pay more for shelf space, displays and promotions.

Also, Whole Foods is cutting all store graphic artist positions and other jobs in regional marketing organizations in favor of more consistent branding across the chain.  Some onlookers worry that the chain will lose its uniqueness and become just another typical grocery store, but Amazon believes a centralized approach will help improve the customer experience.

This post is based on the Forbes article, Under Amazon, Whole Foods Is In Danger Of Becoming Efficient, by George Anderson, April 5, 2018. Image source:
Shutterstock / Helder Almeida

Discussion Questions

1. How is Whole Foods’ operations strategy changing under Amazon?

Guidance: The focus is shifting from one of differentiation/high quality with unique, community focused stores to one of differentiation/consistent quality with greater emphasis on efficiency in purchasing and uniformity of operations.

2. What are some advantages and Continue reading