Just because Amazon will own Whole Foods, don’t expect it to stop experimenting with its own cashier-less grocery stores and other grocery offerings.
Even after Amazon completes its planned $US13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods, the online retail giants plans to stick with Amazon Fresh, Amazon Go and its other efforts to reinvent the way consumers shop for food, the company said on Thursday.
In their first extended comments about the company’s planned acquisition of the high-end grocery chain, Amazon officials said that they’re still trying to see how customers want to shop for groceries. So the company has no plans to shut down any of its current experiments in grocery sales and delivery.
“We’ll see how the customers respond,” Brian Olsavsky, Amazon’s chief financial officer, said on a conference call with analysts after Amazon announced its second quarter results. “We believe there will be no one solution.”
Amazon announced last month it planned to purchase Whole Foods for $US13.7 billion. The deal is pending approval by regulators.
But long before the deal, the e-commerce giant showed an interest in groceries. During the dot-com days, it invested in HomeGrocer, an early online grocery service. In 2007, it launched its own online grocery service called Amazon Fresh; it now makes deliveries in a select number of cities around the country and world. It also offers Prime Now, a service that allows customers to get groceries and other items delivered to their doorstep within hours of placing an order. And its been testing Amazon Go, a physical grocery store than allows customers to purchase items without having to interact with a cashier.
Amazon’s first Go grocery store in Seattle is currently only open to Amazon employees. The store uses computer vision and payments technology so that shoppers can walk out with whatever they want.
Amazon will continue to experiment with different ways of offering groceries, Olsavsky said.
In the meantime, the company is “looking forward” to working with Whole Foods, he said.
“They’re customer centric like us,” he said.
Because Amazon hasn’t completed its acquisition of Whole Foods, it didn’t include the grocery chain’s expected results in its third quarter guidance. Amazon’s outlook for the current quarter, which the company offered along with disappointing earnings, was below Wall Street’s expectations.