In a sign of how the retailer is changing, the Amazon Echo, a voice-activated electronic assistant, was also for sale, for $US99.99 ($125.50) - a sharp pivot into electronics for a company known for kale and quinoa.
Wal-Mart, the world's biggest retailer, has already invested billions into lowering prices across the board over the past year or so, and has revamped the produce section at its U.S. stores, improving sight lines, adding more fresh-cut fruits and even creating a sweeter bespoke cantaloupe.
"Even if Whole Foods is just getting down to parity on price, they might be able to capture a little bit of market share", said Joseph Feldman, senior managing director at Telsey Advisory Group.
Whole Foods Market will be offering lower prices on a selection of best-selling grocery staples across its stores including both of its two stores in Pasadena starting Monday, as online retailer Amazon completes its acquisition of the company.
Signs posted in Whole Foods' 450 USA stores trumpeted the changes.
But Whole Foods is a different story, because Whole Foods is a different business model, with revenue growth plateauing and net income falling, which has all impacted gross margins and operating margins.
Organic fuji apples and bananas were among the most heavily discounted foods.
Inc. marked its takeover of Whole Foods Market Inc.by cutting grocery prices and advertising its Amazon Echo devices at a steep discount in numerous natural grocer's stores nationwide. If the prices stay consistently lower, she said, "I'll definitely shop more here". Image source: Whole Foods.
Helping Whole Foods win back customers who found "good enough" organic and natural products elsewhere - possibly at a lower cost - fits Amazon's track record of keeping prices low to lock in customer loyalty. Amazon will also place its Amazon Lockers package pickup machines in some Whole Foods stores, and make Whole Foods' private label products available on its website, on AmazonFresh, on Prime Pantry, and Prime Now. Discounts on rotisseries chickens - which weren't yet on display at 8 am ET - ranged from 11 percent to 29 percent. Amazon is an expert in using data on past purchases and browsing to offer suggestions that might make people buy more, and could start applying that in stores as well as online.
"Amazon can come in and price items very low", he said. "Hopefully they'll get more items". Whole Foods later pulled the beverage and said it was prepared incorrectly.
Whole Foods is selling the flagship Amazon Echo and smaller Amazon Echo Dot for $99.99 and $45.99, respectively.