Forefront Communications

Minneapolis Star Trubune: Whole Foods’ Price Cuts Drew Customers from Trader Joe’s, Target

Mark Dowd

Mark Dowd

It’s been six weeks now since Amazon grabbed the public’s attention by announcing eye-popping price reductions at the grocery chain it bought whose notoriety for high prices garnered it the nickname “whole paycheck.”

Now various data analyses and reports are coming in, looking at which retail competitors turned out to be the biggest losers as a result of the price changes at Whole Foods while also raising questions about just how deep and sustained those price cuts really were.

One thing seems clear. The price cuts brought a lot more curious customers to Whole Foods when they first took hold in the last week of August. According to an analysis of mobile phone location data by Thasos Group, foot traffic to Whole Foods spiked 17 percent that week, but it seems to have been fairly short-lived. Traffic tapered off in subsequent weeks to about 4 percent higher than the same time last year.

The largest percentage of new customers, the firm found, came from people who regularly shop Walmart (24 percent), followed by Kroger (16 percent) and Costco (15 percent).

What about Target? Many expected the Minneapolis-based retailer to be one of the most vulnerable to the Amazon-Whole Foods merger. But it didn’t see as big of an impact, at least not initially because of the price cuts, as some analysts had thought.

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