According to The New York Times, Amazon is set to buy Whole Foods Market for 13.5 billion dollars. Why is this a big deal? For those who are not familiar with Whole Foods, it’s one of the crunchiest and most trendy supermarkets in the US, wellness aficionados, myself included, have a love affair with this supermarket.
The idea that Amazon could possibly buy Whole Foods Markets brings a new set of questions that you might have thought you wouldn’t have to ask for at least a couple of years from now. Things are moving incredibly fast. But why is this a big deal? As you probably know, Amazon is the king of online delivery. It’s so efficient and cost effective, that I can’t remember the last time I bought something from any other store except for groceries. Amazon is rapidly taking over the market by giving you fast shipping and better deals from the comfort of your home. Thanks to Amazon, time management is more effective for most of us. There are grocery delivery services in the US such as Thrive Market and Fresh Direct, but the idea that such a big company like Amazon could provide the healthier/natural food products at better prices, almost guarantees it will slowly shut down the rest of the competitors. Just think about what happened to diapers.com
Is Amazon just an online Walmart? Strategically crushing down competitors in order to have the monopoly of sales?
Obviously, there are amazing things happening here, especially when we come to the realization that is not just any other big company buying out a supermarket. With that in mind think about the possibilities that can exist within this purchase. Maybe wider access to healthier foods for cheaper prices? Improvement of dietary choices? Health awareness? Will farm to table be accessible to every family? Will Monsanto and GMO’s lose the product production battle? No more grocery trips that waste time and test your patience? Drone delivery directly to your house? There’s a lot of good that can be done, Amazon makes things more accessible, especially for people with a budget. And we know that when there’s a tight budget, nutrition that gets neglected most of the time. But what if that won’t be the case anymore?
On the other hand, some not so positive questions arise. These are merely questions to keep in mind as things continue to advance. By all means, I do not pretend to have answers to any of this yet. When you see such a big potential event coming your way it’s normal to be curious about what’s going to happen, will Amazon remove Whole Food stores and make it an online business in the long run? Will Amazon have total control of our data? When a company realizes, that by removing humans it can be more effective with fewer expenses, and what will happen to all those people that are no longer needed? What’s the outcome for all of those people who are losing their jobs and their skills are no longer required in this advancing world they helped build? What will happen to companies who deliver food boxes such as Hello Fresh and Blue Apron? Will farmers have to join forces with Amazon just only to be removed a few years later? Will farmers be the next Uber taxi drivers? That as soon as self-driving cars go officially on the market will no longer be needed and by this I’m talking about farm bots and meats produced in laboratories.
There are always pros and cons in every situation, but the true gift of events like this is the questions it invites us to ask. I’m really looking forward to hearing yours.
How do you feel about it? What questions do you have?