Whole Foods has scheduled a meeting with its vendors next week to help relieve tensions as the grocer tries to expand under new Amazon ownership.
CNBC reported that the March 19 summit is “set to reassure the brands of relations after Whole Foods’ sale to Amazon.” Some vendors have grown frustrated in part with the grocer’s move to centralize purchases — a decision that came before Amazon’s $ 13.7 billion acquisition, but is receiving more scrutiny given Whole Foods’ new ownership.
CNBC noted that centralizing merchandising removes third-party brokers from the fulfillment process and could give Amazon more control over Whole Foods data.
Amazon immediately lowered prices on various items at Whole Foods after the deal closed this past August. The tech giant has also offered discounts to Prime members; rolled out a new grocery delivery service; started selling devices like the Echo and Fire TV in stores; and plans to install Amazon Lockers at Whole Foods locations.
CNBC also reported that Whole Foods sent a refreshed version of its core values to employees last week. Speaking at an event earlier this month, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey said that meeting with Amazon before agreeing to the acquisition deal was “really like falling in love.”