The Amazon Company was established on May 28, 1996. The company sells a wide range of retail items through its online platform in different markets across the world. Its areas of focus are subdivided into three segments that include North America, International, and Amazon Web Services (AWS). The products that the firm sells include merchandise, secondhand goods, and electronic devices among others. In 2017, Amazon merged with Whole Foods Market, Inc. in a US$13.7 billion deal (Business Insider, 2017). The move meant that Amazon entered the industry segment for selling whole foods. Since the merger, Amazon, through Whole Foods Market, Inc. has introduced new products in the markets such as whole bananas, creamy and crunchy almond butter, organic gala, and Fuji apples, organic large brown eggs, and more than ten other products. Through the newly introduced products, Amazon offers its consumers healthy and private label products such as Whole Paws, Whole Catch, 365 Everyday Value, and others that are accessible through the company's website, www.amazon.com. The company's North America segment targets the United States, Canadian, and Mexican markets where it provides retail consumer goods through country-specific sites such as the www.amazon.ca for Canada and www.amazon.com.mx for Mexico. On the other hand, the international division provides services to global customers outside North America, mainly in Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Whole Foods Market, Inc.
Whole Foods Market, Inc. is considered as one of the world's largest natural foods grocery chains. Founded in 1980, its focus is the retail of natural and organic foods. The company runs more than 470 stores throughout the US, Canada, and the UK. It offers organic perishable and prepared products as well as private-label items in its 365 Organic Everyday Value and Allegro Coffee lines (Business Insider, 2017). Further, it sells non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free foods. In 2017, it was acquired by Amazon in a merger that was worth $13.7 billion (Business Insider, 2017).
The merger has played a significant role in the operations of the company in different ways. For instance, through the Amazon's online presence, the firm has been able to reach different clients and challenge some of its stiff competitors in the market such as Kroger, Walmart, and other grocery chains. The organization runs its operations in two different divisions, which include perishables and non-perishables. Perishables account for about two-thirds of company sales, which include prepared foods and bakery, which is the largest individual category accounting for 20% of the total sales. The firm majorly distributes its products through United Natural Foods, which is its single largest third-party distributor, amounting to about a third of Whole Foods Market Inc. total purchases.
Whole Foods Market Inc. is located in all states of the US. However, most of its stores are situated in California, Texas, and Massachusetts. The company has seen a gradual change in its revenue over the last five years. For instance, it has been experienced many challenges in the market due to increased availability of fresh foods offerings by competitors in the market. During its financial year in 2017, the company's revenue was $16 billion, which saw an improvement of 2% from the previous fiscal year. However, through expanding new stores and other expenses, its net income dropped by more than 50% to $ 245million (Business Insider, 2017). For instance, its merger expenses reached more than $150 million and about $ 95 million for store closure, relocations, and lease terminations in the previous year.
Characteristics of Good Company
For any company to prosper in the business market, many factors need to be put into considerations. These issues play a vital role towards the growth of a business and its day-to-day operations. Some of these factors include honesty between employers and the employees. Workers must be able to trust the company has their best interest, and thus provide their services to the best of their ability. This helps in a smooth flow of operations and communication in the company (Era, 2011). The second factor is evaluation and rewards where a company must put in place mechanisms of monitoring and measuring the performance of its workers. Through this program, the company rewards working employees for their performance. Further, the approach allows a firm to find underperformers and put in place measures that address the underlying factors of poor performance. Such step is essential in increasing motivation of the employees. The third characteristic of a good company is accountability. The tenet ensures that each person in the company is accountable if anything goes wrong in his or her department.
The nature of a business plays a vital role towards its growth and competitiveness. The Amazon and Whole Foods Market, Inc. deal with health and nutrition health products, a segment that is facing significant competition from other players. The firms have come with new strategies, which will help them to stay relevant in the business. For instance, Whole Foods Market Inc. has introduced new products in the market, and thus increasing its portfolio. The company also utilizes online platforms as evident from its sales over the internet. By doing this, Whole Foods Market, Inc. can get new clients and maintain its loyal consumers. Through the online platform, the company quickly interacts with clients to address any issues of concern and help them to choose their product preferences.
Culture Maintenance and Change
The business world is changing, and firms must adapt to remain relevant, competitive, and profitable. For instance, previously, companies relied on traditional methods of marketing. However, in the 21st century, firms must adapt and utilize new marketing approaches and concepts influenced by technology. Digital marketing has a significant role in ensuring that most organizations remain relevant in the market (Ryan & Jones, 2013). Through digital marketing, companies have been able to come up with different strategies on how they can reach their clients. For example, the use of websites, social media marketing, online advertising, and so on are all modern marketing approaches that businesses must take advantage of.
Change management is an essential requirement for ensuring the continued success of a company especially in mergers such as the one between Amazon and Whole Foods Market Inc. During a merger, many employees are faced with uncertainties regarding the future of their jobs, and this may affect their output in the workplace. If not addressed, such changes may have adverse effects on the overall performance of the organization. Thus, it is essential to put in place measures that will ensure that the transitional period is efficiently managed to give employees confidence that can motivate them to continue performing their roles. In the case of Amazon and Whole Foods Market, Inc., very few changes occur at the level of employees as each of the companies retained their brand identities and staff members. Further, there were very few layoffs, and this ensured that employees felt secure. Open communication between the management and the employees was also a significant factor that influenced the smooth transition and thus led to effective change management.
ReferencesBohme, A. (2009). The SWOT analysis. Munich: GRIN Verlag.
Business Insider. (2017). "7 potential bidders, a call to Amazon, and an ultimatum: How the whole foods deal went down." Business Insider, Retrieved from businessinsider.com/breaking-it-down-amazon-tough-negotiations-how-the-whole-foods-deal-went-down-2017-12?IR=T.
Era, G.C. (2011). Good company. Business success in the Worthiness Era. Oakland, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
Ryan, D., & Jones, C. (2013). Understanding digital marketing: Marketing strategies for engaging the digital generation. London, UK: Kogan Page Publishers.
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