Amazon reportedly has plans to expand Whole Foods stores across the US into suburbs and other regions. It also wants to bring its two-hour delivery program Prime Now to all current Whole Foods stores, anonymous sources told the Wall Street Journal. The move would grow Whole Foods at a rapid pace that it hasn’t seen before.
Whole Foods employees have already reportedly ventured to parts of Idaho, Wyoming, and southern Utah for potential retail spaces they could set up shop in. One anonymous source told the WSJ that these spaces were sometimes around 45,000 square feet, meaning they were slightly larger than the average Whole Foods store by 2,000 square feet. The potential expansion likely isn’t limited to just the Rocky Mountain region, but includes other regions yet to be announced. We’ve reached out to Amazon and Whole Foods for comment.
Earlier this year, Whole Foods expanded by launching multiple 365-branded stores. These 365 stores tend to be smaller in size than Whole Foods’ typical brick-and-mortar presence, have a focus on locally made goods, and offer more affordably priced groceries. All of this growth happened as other supermarket chains shut down stores and let leases expire, which left plenty of retail spaces for Whole Foods and Amazon to snap up.
It’s all a great opportunity for Amazon, which saw a boost to North American sales to the tune of $34.3 billion over the late summer and fall, an unknown fraction of which can be attributed to Whole Foods stores. Amazon never shares total sales numbers broken down over product categories, but it did say that this year “more customers than ever” had turkeys delivered through AmazonFresh and Prime Now during Thanksgiving, while Whole Foods broke its record for selling the most turkeys.