Walk into a Whole Foods store now that the company’s acquisition by Amazon has become official, and you’ll definitely see some changes — and we’re not just talking about the lower prices.
It appears that many Whole Foods stores are selling the Amazon Echo and Echo Dot, the company’s voice-activated home assistant that answers to “Alexa,” at a reduced price. And, based on photos on social media, many stores have placed that display smack-dab in the produce aisle, with branding that says, inexplicably, “Farm Fresh.”
Alexa, what on earth were Amazon and Whole Foods thinking?
If by “farm” the company means “manufacturing facility,” then, sure. But the idea that an Echo would be branded as “Farm Fresh” at a grocery store, even if it’s tongue-in-cheek, means what many have suspected: Whole Foods is transforming immediately and dramatically, and there will probably be more jarring changes to come. (Disclosure: The founder and chief executive of Amazon, Jeffrey P. Bezos, owns The Washington Post, but that doesn’t mean we get free Whole Foods guacamole in our break room. Please, Jeff?)
The display of “Farm Fresh” electronics became a running joke Monday on social media.
Whole Foods has not yet responded to questions about why the company is using the words “Farm Fresh” to describe electronics, whether they’re being tongue-in-cheek, and why, of all places, they are keeping the Amazon Echo near the organic peaches. An Amazon spokesperson did not respond to a question about where the Echo is manufactured (we’re guessing it’s not as local as those peaches), or how the displays were configured, and only wrote back to confirm what we already know: That the Echo is now available in Whole Foods stores.
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