Amazon, Whole Foods and a New Way of Shopping

Some retailers fear the rise of e-commerce, but Amazon is showing us that we might be able to have it both ways.

_MG_7334The shopping center is dead, long live the shopping center!

Everyone thinks, with the rise and proliferation of e-commerce, the end of traditional brick-and-mortar stores is near. (Though some industry officials don’t seem completely worried.) They’ve been saying it for years, and with good reason: Sales are declining, pretty much everywhere. Will online retailers such as Amazon change the way people shop, permanently?

Personally, as a current Jersey girl, I don’t know what I would do without malls, grocery stores and Bon Jovi (which doesn’t have anything to do with shopping, but still, you can’t list things about Jersey without mentioning him. It’s part of our official state motto).

And, with the recent news that Amazon is buying Whole Foods in a $13.4 billion deal, it turns out, I might not have to be so worried.

So I guess at least grocery stores aren’t going anywhere for a while.

(Sigh, and I guess people can keep making those “Whole Paycheck” “jokes,” the one bad thing about the whole deal.)

With Amazon at the helm, shoppers will be able to order their food online and then pick it up at the store, which not only only cuts down on their shipping costs, but provides Amazon with new distribution centers. Additionally, customers can drop off other Amazon items that they’re returning.

Amazon is incorporating technology, which should ultimately enhance the customer experience. Shoppers will be able to do their grocery shopping online, so they won’t have to waste too much time in the actual store. But they’ll still go to the store, so they can still pick up additional items they see. Plus, they can return other non-food items at the same time, which cuts down on the number of errands they run. According to the company, there are no plans to cut jobs at Whole Foods, which is also welcome news—though it certainly would have been cool to have a drone bring me my eggs and milk.

Other retailers should take note: Don’t be afraid of e-commerce. Embrace it.

Also, it’s funny that the company everyone thought would kill brick-and-mortar stores might end up being the one that saves them. Well, not funny-haha, but funny “Well, that sure makes you think.”

What do you think of the deal, and what do you think this means for the future of retail in general? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Leave a comment on our Facebook page or send a tweet to @CPExecutive or @JFiur.