Now for sale: Whole Foods of hell

After Amazon’s $13.7bn acquisition of Whole Foods, people across the US who care about the nutritional content of their food are going to have to pay a little more for a basket of raw…

Now for sale: Whole Foods of hell

After Amazon’s $13.7bn acquisition of Whole Foods, people across the US who care about the nutritional content of their food are going to have to pay a little more for a basket of raw avocados, brown bread and organic butter.

Amazon hits back at Whole Foods critics with price cuts – live blog Read more

The “online price protection” will start in August for non-perishable groceries. “Items that are already purchased are not eligible for the fee,” Amazon said.

The announcement came three weeks after Amazon unveiled plans to buy Whole Foods, allowing it to bring an array of grocery goods, discounts and Prime membership benefits to markets across the US.

Amazon has rolled out its same-day and Sunday delivery services at a cost for consumers since it began launching the service nationally in December. Now it has promised to charge $9.95 for same-day or next-day deliveries when shoppers spend more than $35.

Its free two-hour delivery to households with orders over $35 is unaffected. (Who can forget that famous Super Bowl ad where Amazon’s delivery man literally takes over the football field?)

But for stores with larger inventories, the fees mean people living closer to their local stores are unlikely to complain. For customers in New York, a blue state, some believe that the implied cost of shipping a Whole Foods basket is that much higher in the long run.

Echoing this is Hap Douglas, author of What Do You Buy? I Should Buy This, where he asks readers, “Should I buy this [Whole Foods] item – and it costs $20 more?”, and then goes on to list items that cost $40 more.

Let’s take the $35. If he were to buy a $35 item from Walmart and a $40 item from Whole Foods, then in the long run, does he really save?

Either way, the best thing for people of all stripes who believe the nutritional value of food to be important is to be ready to pounce.

Earlier this year, Walmart unveiled its own one-hour delivery plan – offering free two-hour delivery on more than 2m grocery items in hundreds of US stores, including Whole Foods. Customers are then required to pay $7.95 to use its same-day delivery service.

Whole Foods has tried to combat the issue of low prices in the last few years by re-tooling its image with a “store within a store” concept that features local food purveyors.

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