Even before Amazon decide to purchase Whole Foods, the business was trying to adopt some of the norms in the grocery industry. But now that Jeff Bezos and his company have taken over, the push for using more mainstream tactics at stores for display, purchasing and other aspects of the day to day business has been accelerated. Heather Haddon and Annie Gasparro report:
Whole Foods will change the way companies can sell and market their products in its stores beginning next year, one of the biggest moves yet in its push to operate more like a traditional market.
Under the changes planned for April, Whole Foods’ 470 locations will no longer allow brand representatives to promote their products or check to make sure they are stocked and displayed correctly.
Whole Foods also is centralizing much of its decision-making regarding the assortment of products across the chain. Instead of allowing brands to frequently pitch their products to individual stores or regions, Whole Foods executives in its Austin, Texas, headquarters will choose a higher percentage of the inventory.
The move was slowly getting under way before Amazon.com Inc.’s deal for the chain in August, and its acquisition has added incentive for Whole Foods to shift from its decentralized model and become more efficient.
“This is another step in the conventionalizing of Whole Foods as we know it,” said Jim Cusson, of Theory House, a brand consultancy based in Charlotte, N.C.
Read more here.