Sure, it made its way onto the list — and landed such a prime spot — by purchasing Austin, Texas-based natural and organic grocer Whole Foods Market. But one of grocers’ greatest fears in recent years is now officially a reality: Amazon is among the toughest competition in today’s market.
And it’s only going to grow tougher: While its climb up the list from No. 10 in 2016 (as Whole Foods) and ninth in 2017 (also as Whole Foods) to No. 7 this year isn’t due to its own sales, which haven’t changed much in the past year, its first-year preparation to seriously disrupt the grocery market means that we can expect even higher rankings in the coming years.
Just look at some of the things that Amazon — on its own or via Whole Foods — has introduced in the past year to catch headlines in food retail: lower prices, special deals on select products at Whole Foods for Amazon Prime members, free grocery delivery to Amazon Prime members via Whole Foods stores, Amazon Lockers in Whole Foods stores, the public debut of the checkout-free Amazon Go convenience-store concept, shoppable recipes through several media brands, the possible replacement of Whole Foods’ rewards program with Amazon Prime, and more.