'As Amazon enters the grocery market proper, it will put a lot more pressure on existing grocers, ' Neil Saunders, managing director of the research firm Global Data Retail, told the AP.
How quickly items get delivered "is going to have to be improved considerably" for customers to order something online instead of going to the prepared-foods counter at the supermarket, she said. For 10 years, the company has offered a type of food delivery service via Fresh, but that simply won't do, it seems. She shops at Whole Foods for organic food and nitrate-free deli counter products and also visits farmers markets to buy fruits and vegetables.
Currently, it is unclear how Amazon will exactly use Whole Foods as the company did not release any further details.
But despite the Whole Foods acquisition and, by extension, the potential technology Amazon could implement in brick-and-mortar outlets, the company said it now has no plans to automate the jobs of cashiers in Whole Foods stores after the acquisition.
That said, there is some speculation that Amazon could end up changing its plans and ultimately use advanced technology inside Whole Foods stores. It was recently granted a patent for technology that would block shoppers from comparing prices using their mobile devices while they are in stores.
In contrast, Amazon shares gained 2.4 percent and Whole Foods went up 29.1 percent on the S&P 500.
For now, though, Whole Foods cashiers and other employees can take a sigh of relief. As for consumers, this purchase could increase competition between retailers and lead to lower prices on groceries as companies attempt to attract more customers and work towards gaining an edge in the market. A spokesperson for Walmart, Randy Hargrove, said that they felt "great" about their e-commerce and online grocery business.
Alina Gura of Newington who was visiting the Whole Foods store with her almost two-year-old daughter, said she appreciates the quality of the food, particularly its organic products. These three have begun offering some of what Whole Foods offers, forcing the supermarket chain to cut prices.
Several Whole Foods locations are also operating in Canada and the United Kingdom.
"They really want to be communicated with the way they want to be communicated with", Hauptman said.