When Amazon.com acquired Whole Foods a year ago, analysts predicted seismic changes to the grocery store industry, and retail stocks temporarily dropped. But those changes have not come, and Amazon’s foray into the supermarket business remains very much a work in progress, notes Bloomberg columnist Shira Ovide.
Home delivery by Whole Foods courier is available in only about a dozen cities — across the 450-store Whole Foods portfolio. Elsewhere, home delivery, the central pillar of Amazon’s existence, is reliant on a patchwork of various services as concerns Whole Foods — requiring shoppers in some places to sign up with Instacart, as Bloomberg points out.
Still, Ovide cautions, no one should underestimate Amazon’s patience or ability to work out an omni-channel model that can yet reshape the supermarket industry.
By Edmund Mander