Amazon is using its Whole Foods acquisition to help sell more hardware devices and Prime subscriptions.
The tech giant announced today that it will open pop-up stores at five Whole Foods locations next week. Customers will be able to try out Amazon devices and learn more about the company’s Prime membership programs from staffers at the stores.
Immediately after Amazon closed its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods this past August, it began selling Amazon Echo devices at some stores across the U.S. Amazon announced today that customers can now buy the Echo, Echo Dot, Fire TV, Kindle, Fire tablets, and other products at more than 100 Whole Foods stores.
The pop-up stores are an expansion of Amazon’s strategy of selling its first-party devices inside Whole Foods.
As you can see in the photo above, I noticed the Fire TV sticks as a new addition at my local Whole Foods in Seattle last week.
And here’s a photo of Amazon’s Echo setup inside the Whole Foods nearby its headquarters in Seattle, just after the acquisition closed in August.
The pop-up stores and addition of more devices at Whole Foods are the latest example of Amazon taking advantage of its new physical retail footprint that includes 470 Whole Foods stores in the U.S., Canada, and U.K.
The company has already added hundreds of Whole Foods items to its AmazonFresh grocery delivery service and there is now a Whole Foods online storefront on Amazon’s website. It also plans to install Amazon Lockers at Whole Foods locations and will integrate its Prime membership program for Whole Foods shoppers.
Amazon also quickly lowered prices on various in-store Whole Foods items like salmon, avocados, apples, and more as a result of the deal.
“Whole Foods Market and Amazon will together continue innovating to provide customers with a great shopping experience, in-store offerings, and lower prices,” Amazon said in a press release today.
The pop-up stores will open next week at Whole Foods locations in Chicago, Ill.; Rochester Hills, Mich.; Davie, Fla.; Pasadena, Calif; and Denver, Colo.
To reflect its growing brick-and-mortar retail presence, Amazon now includes a “physical stores” break-out in its earnings report.
“It’s sales where customers are physically selecting items in a store, versus perhaps ordering online and picking up somewhere,” Amazon CFO Brian Olsavsky said of the ‘physical stores’ section. “For us, that is principally going to be Whole Foods and Amazon Books. And then as we develop other formats over time, we could see other items in that category.”
The Wall Street Journal reported today that Amazon has consolidated its physical retail and 2-hour delivery service operations under long-time executive Steve Kessel.