Amazon’s blockbuster $13.4 billion deal to buy Whole Foods catapulted the online giant near the top of the $700 billion grocery industry, and sank stocks of traditional grocers on fears that they would be outmaneuvered into oblivion.
Other big grocery proposals stopped circulating inside Amazon, as Whole Foods demanded everyone’s attention. But two years later, instead of Whole Foods being the answer to Amazon’s grocery ambitions, The New York Times reports it seems to have only whetted executives’ appetites.
The Amazon-Whole Foods marriage has made clear the difficulties of selling fresh food inexpensively, either in a physical store or through delivery. Bananas are not the same as books.
But the combination has also shown glimmers of success. And that has provided some fuel to Amazon executives pushing to add another food-selling option—one built from the ground up that would change how people buy groceries.
The company is now quietly exploring an ambitious new chain, probably separate from Whole Foods, that is not far removed from the one outlined in previous circulated ambitious memos within the company. It would be built for in-store shopping as well as pickup and delivery.