In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey predicts that "when things return to normal," and the pandemic recedes, "there will be a lot of people who don’t go back to shopping in-person."
The Journal notes that "since the coronavirus pandemic gripped the U.S. in March, consumers have been ordering more groceries online, making bigger purchases at a time and avoiding lingering in Whole Foods’ aisles. To meet the rush for grocery deliveries, the chain temporarily closed some urban stores to walk-in shoppers and converted them to handling online orders only. The grocer is also expanding its pickup operations."
On the company's acquisition by Amazon: "The best way to put it would be: If we had to make the decision all over again, would we make this decision? The answer is yes, because Amazon’s been a great partner. They’ve helped us evolve; they’ve helped us get better at technology, delivery. We’re taking on the parts at Amazon that can help Whole Foods be a better company, but they haven’t tried to consciously change our culture … Amazon has a culture that asks a lot of questions. We took a little longer to get used to that, but that’s no big deal. That’s how you learn things. They’re trying to understand our business. They want to know everything. And I think that’s healthy."
- KC's View:
What Mackey - and a lot of people - seem to forget is that when Amazon bought Whole Foods, the business was in some trouble … that's why it could be acquired.
We can have a different discussion about whether Whole Foods has lost a step since the acquisition. I don't see it in my local Whole Foods, but a lot of folks who have a better sense of these things do.