Amazon & Whole Foods: A Win For Smart Grocers Everywhere

November 27, 2017

Amazon & Whole Foods: A Win For Smart Grocers Everywhere

November 27, 2017 | John Salustri | GlobeSt.com

InvenTrust chief Tom McGuinness doesn’t see the Amazon purchase of Whole Foods as a disruptor. Rather, it’s part of the evolution of retail, and a win for the grocery business.


Not every expansion of online retail means disruption to brick-and-mortar. Not according to Tom McGuinness, president and CEO of InvenTrust Properties Corp., headquartered in nearby Downers Grove. Yes, while web-based retail is redefining how people shop, forward-thinking retailers in the grocery space are responding and evolving their platforms to suit.

McGuinness holds up Amazon’s reported $13.4-billion acquisition of Whole Foods as an example of this evolution. “As dominant as Amazon is in items such as books or clothing,” he points out, “the grocery business is very different, and the acquisition underscores the apparent challenges they faced in figuring out what Whole Foods already had—a workable grocery business model.”

Buying a going enterprise answered in one swoop such issues as last-mile delivery and how to reach “well-educated consumers with disposable income,” he says. Most Whole Foods are already positioned in neighborhoods where millennials cluster. “It’s a win for the grocery business because it means that Amazon needed the grocer to develop a workable model,” says McGuinness. “So I don’t see it as disruptive at all.”

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