The sweet bliss of Whole Foods' new, lower prices (Thanks, Amazon!) is, to the dismay of shoppers everywhere, short-lived. According to GrubStreet, even though prices of popular items did go down, other items in stores actually got tagged with new higher prices.
The Washington Post reports that research firm Gordon Haskett did a case study at one New Jersey Whole Food location, tracking prices on 110 items starting on August 28, the day of the great price drops. Whole Foods reported lowering prices by up to 43% throughout the store, but researchers found that only 17 of the 110 items actually got a price cut. 77 of the items stayed the same price and the remaining 16 items actually got more expensive. After doing the math, prices were actually 1.2% higher than before the Amazon takeover.
The research team found that snack items' prices went up by 5.2% and frozen food got hit with a 7% increase. Dairy products saw a 2% rise. The numbers may not sound major, especially the figure of 1.2%, but it is significant considering that Whole Foods is still a premium destination when it comes to groceries. Eggs are still $4 per dozen and tilapia is $8 per pound, which could still stretch budgets for some shoppers.
Another part of the corporate takeover included Amazon offering up Whole Foods products online and via its Amazon Fresh and Prime Now services. Five weeks after Amazon bought the supermarket chain, Whole Foods products racked up $1.6 billion in sales and during the first week of their availability, 93% of the items actually sold out. Even though the numbers surrounding the price drops don't exactly mean lower-priced grocery runs, the marketing and buzz behind it all seem to be working just fine: Analytics firm Thasos Group found that 10% of Trader Joe's customers actually took a detour to Whole Foods the first weekend after the price drops.
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