Are new—and larger—Whole Foods locations on the horizon? According to a report from the Wall Street Journal, a person familiar with the retailer’s plan to expand stated that representatives visited Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming—all of which currently lack a Whole Foods location—as potential markets for new stores. These 45,000-square-foot stores would integrate Amazon online orders, delivery, and pickup, offering more consumers the chance to tap into Amazon’s two-hour delivery service.
With 479 stores at its back, Whole Foods' possible new stores would help position it against Amazon’s competitors on the brick-and-mortar front. As Whole Foods and Amazon expand, a report from Forbes considered whether the two could be eyeing an acquisition of a major grocery distributor, such as UNFI or SpartanNash. While Amazon has a good relationship with both distributors, the news source stated that a merger or two could occur in 2019 to streamline the grocery supply chain. However, Forbes also stated that if Amazon does not add a grocery distributor to its portfolio, the e-tail giant could be building its own supply chain and logistics network.
Spokespeople from Amazon and Whole Foods have declined to comment on new store construction and spending regarding the specialty grocer’s 2019 expansion.
How will Whole Foods’ and Amazon’s grocery plan play out in the new year? Deli Market News will continue to report on grocery expansions, acquisitions, and growth as they pertain to the specialty foods sector.