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Amazon rings up $500,000 in grocery sales in one week following Whole Foods Market deal


It only took seven days for Amazon to begin reaping the benefits of its acquisition of Whole Foods Market.

On its first day as the official owner of the natural foods grocer, Amazon made more than 2,000 items from the Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value line available online in the United States. By the end of the first week, sales across Amazon’s Pantry, Fresh and Prime services rang up $500,00 in total sales — nothing was sold on, according to One Click Retail. The firm has been closely monitoring Amazon’s sales data since announcing in June its plan to acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. Amazon officially took over on August 28.

“Having all items posted and available online as of day one is just incredible,” Spencer Millerberg, One Click Retail’s CEO told Chain Store Age.

“There has been a lot of press about how Amazon is lowering prices at Whole Foods, but the rate that this company listed all of these items online is just as impressive,” he said. “Typically, this type of execution can take between six and 12 months. They had it ready on day one.”

Eighty-nine percent (89%) of food categories and 11% of non-food categories comprised the first week’s sales. The top selling items across all three platforms were water, canned beans, coconut water and tomato paste.

Specifically, snacks and candy contributed to 21% of sales, followed by frozen fruits and vegetables (10%). Beverages and canned goods comprised 9%, respectively, followed by frozen meals (7%), and condiments and dressings (6%). Baking and spices, and dairy and eggs rang up 5% of sales, respectively, followed by nutrition and wellness, and health and personal care (4%, each), One Click reported.

“All other food” categories contributed to 17% of sales. This demand indicates that Amazon shoppers are hungry for new categories, including more fresh options.

“Amazon didn't anticipate the significant impact that Whole Foods could bring to its fresh offerings,” Millerberg explained.

“Whether it is access to produce, lunch meat or other fresh merchandise, it is obvious that Amazon shoppers are hungry for the fresh value that Whole Foods can bring to the table,” he added. “Amazon needs to stay astute with a limited assortment that will make a huge impact among the shopper. But now it has the opportunity to keep more fresh foods flowing through the pipeline.”

According to data from Foursquare Labs, Whole Foods hit another milestone during week one — customer traffic swelled by 25% immediately after the takeover, according to Bloomberg.

The unprecedented demand that Amazon experienced during its first week as the grocer’s official owner did have one downside. Inventory was limited, and 93% of the top 100 selling items were out-of-stock by the end of the week. This negatively impacted sales for week two, which took a 38% dive, the company reported.

Millerberg also questions how this demand will impact the future of Whole Foods’ value proposition. “Amazon’s consumers are attracted to ‘everyday basics,’ while Whole Foods caters to the ‘upper echelon’ of goods,” he said. “It will be interesting to see if this trend continues and if it weighs down the value proposition of Whole Foods.”

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