Amazon Gives Whole Foods Sales a Boost -- WSJ
By Heather Haddon
This article is being republished as part of our daily reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S. print edition of The Wall Street Journal (September 30, 2017).
Amazon.com Inc. has sold about $1.6 million in Whole Foods beans, breakfast cereal and other store-brand products in the first month since taking over the organic chain, one of the first infusions of cash the e-commerce giant has delivered to the natural grocer through its site.
Amazon completed $500,000 in online sales in the first week after it started offering Whole Foods' "365 Everyday Value" products, according to the One Click Retail, an e-commerce data analytics firm that focuses on the site's transactions. Weekly sales fell to about $300,000 for the next two weeks after Amazon ran low on some products but rebounded in the fourth week, the analysis found.
During the past month, 19% of Whole Food's sales on Amazon were of snacks and candy, followed by frozen fruit and vegetables, One Click found. Condiments and health and beauty items drew the least share of sales. Deli turkey breast and coconut water were the most popular individual items.
Whole Foods brand pasta, packaged meats and other goods already had a loyal following among customers of the chain's 470 stores, with exclusive products accounting for 15% of the company's annual revenue.
But Amazon gives Whole Foods products the potential for a new mass-market platform, providing new revenue to the struggling grocer, grocery analysts said. "When they blow it out, it'll be a much bigger number," said Bob Goldin, partner for the Pentallect Inc. food consultancy.
The sales at present amount to a tiny portion of the roughly $8 billion in retail sales Amazon averages a month.
A Whole Foods spokeswoman declined to comment. Amazon didn't respond to requests to comment.