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A month before Amazon-owned Whole Foods opens its 500th store in Atlanta, company co-founder and CEO John Mackey tells the Austin American-Statesman that there are new formats in the company’s future. However, Mackey did not provide any details; Whole Foods is currently converting its 12 “365 by Whole Foods” stores to the company’s regular banner.

In the interview, Mackey says that the “marriage” between Amazon and Whole Foods has been a positive one.

“Amazon has integrated its Prime rewards program at Whole Foods stores, which has also created an avenue for grocery delivery and pickup options,” the story says. “It’s also helped streamline Whole Foods operations and tried to lower prices, although price checks by the American-Statesman and other research entities on Whole Foods products have shown only a marginal decrease in costs.

“During the past year and a half, Whole Foods has also centralized its buying procedures with suppliers, which has made its operations more simple but also made getting products onto shelves harder for some startup food companies. ‘We’re changing because we want to change,’ Mackey said. ‘Amazon does not want to destroy our culture’.”
KC's View:
It is interesting that Mackey sort of adopts a “fake news” attitude in the interview, saying that “everything Amazon gets blamed for are lies, and pretty much everything they get credit for is also not true … Whole Foods is pretty much calling all of the shots for Whole Foods.”

He doth protest too much, methinks.

Look, unlike some folks, I haven’t see a huge falloff in terms of Whole Foods service and availability … the store within walking distance of my house, where I shop a couple of times a week, seems to be working pretty well.

But let’s not forget that one of the reasons that Whole Foods was bought by Amazon is that things weren’t going so well, and it was vulnerable. Amazon is a simpatico owner, but it also likely is imposing some disciplines that did not exist before.