There is somewhat of a culture clash taking place at Whole Foods among their workforce as the food store chain in getting bought by internet giant Amazon for $13B. So what’s the beef among the Whole Foods workers? Well think of it this way: What are the first words that come to your mind when you think of Whole Foods? Probably “organic”, “natural”, “wholesome”, “local community”, and “locally raised”. On the contrary, when you think of Amazon, words that come to mind are: “lowest price”, “emotionless buying decision”, “free shipping”, “black friday sale”, and “digital”. Well this contrast in culture is causing somewhat of a stir among many employees at Whole Foods. Some say they feel that their store has “sold out” and may start putting expediency, growth, and profits before quality and freshness.
Regardless of whether the employees welcome this evolution of the store whole-heartedly or not, the acquisition is certainly an interesting move by Amazon. Anyone who follows Amazon knows Jeff Bezos’ desire for growth through acquisition but many are scratching their heads at the bold move to choose Whole Foods as Amazon’s path to truly break into the grocery market. Going with a more “average” grocery chain like Jewel or (the now bankrupt) Dominick’s food stores would probably have been smarter financially, and would also cater to a wider demographic, but Bezos chose Whole Foods. Could it be that this is just one of Bezos’ new toys or experiments, or, could it actually be a brilliant move which will somehow make over-priced organic food affordable to the masses? I guess we’ll have to wait and see to find out. If I can soon use my Prime membership to get free shipping on Whole Foods hard salami for a cheaper price than what I can get it at their store, I’d probably buy it.