SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- Amazon.com, Inc., now closing its acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc., announced Thursday its plan to make the latter's natural and organic food "affordable for everyone."
As what the world's largest internet-based retailer called "a down payment," the grocery store chain featuring foods without artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners and hydrogenated fats will offer lower prices starting Monday on a selection of best-selling grocery staples across its stores.
Monday will also be the day that Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods Market will close.
Whole Foods, headquartered in Austin, Texas, has more than 460 stores in the United States, Canada and Britain.
However, it is unknown whether the lower prices will be available at Whole Foods stores in Canada and Britain. A phone call to the grocery chain's headquarters was not answered and a message left there has received no response.
Initially estimated to worth 13.7 billion U.S. dollars, the all-cash transaction between Amazon and Whole Foods has been expected to result in lowering of prices at the latter's retail stores.
The e-commerce giant headquartered in Seattle, Washington state, said it will begin to integrate Amazon Prime, a paid subscription service offered by Amazon.com that gives users access to free one-day delivery and other benefits, into the Whole Foods point-of-sale system, and when this work is complete, Prime members will receive special savings and in-store benefits.
Amazon stands now as the most valuable retailer in the United States by market capitalization, with more than 341,000 employees worldwide. And Whole Foods has about 87,000 employees.
Known to have a deep pocket for cash and for aggressive market outreach, Amazon noted that "this is just the beginning -- Amazon and Whole Foods Market plan to offer more in-store benefits and lower prices for customers over time as the two companies integrate logistics and point-of-sale and merchandising systems."
"Everybody should be able to eat Whole Foods Market quality -- we will lower prices without compromising Whole Foods Market's long-held commitment to the highest standards," claimed Jeff Wilke, chief executive officer (CEO) of Amazon Worldwide Consumer, who listed items such as organic bananas, responsibly-farmed salmon, organic large brown eggs, animal-welfare-rated 85 percent lean ground beef as the ones with lowered prices starting Monday.