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Looking to stay Whole: Lynnfield, Swampscott shoppers are hopeful

ITEM PHOTO | SPENSER HASAK
Nathaniel Parker of Portsmouth, N.H., reacts to the sale of Whole Foods to Amazon.

By MATT DEMIRS

LYNNFIELDWhole Foods Market customers didn’t have anything bad to say after the Internet giant, Amazon, purchased the grocery store Friday morning.

They did raise one concern, however. They don’t want change.

“I’ll keep shopping here,” said Nathaniel Parker of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, “as long as they don’t mess up the formula.”

Amazon purchased the grocery chain at $42 a share, or $13.4 billion, making it the largest deal in company history. Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos is reportedly paying a 27% premium on Whole Foods shares.

Whole Foods, which opened its first location on September 20, 1980 in Austin, Texas, has 30 locations in Massachusetts, according to their website.

The purchase raises shoppers’ concerns as to what might change in their beloved Lynnfield and Swampscott locations.

Carol Herdic, who is visiting her daughter from Miami, wasn’t aware of the purchase but is very familiar with Amazon and its services.

“I order from it almost every day,” she said. “I own Echo and Alexa and buy certain groceries on there, although I don’t use Amazon Pantry. I do, however, use the subscribe and save feature.”

She too hopes Amazon doesn’t have any plans to change Whole Food’s current product.

“I find it very interesting because I heard Amazon cuts its price in order to get to its customer,” she said. “And you don’t think of that when you think of Whole Foods since it is more of a premium market.

Although Herdic said she’s unsure of what might become of the two companies, it might mean that Amazon is changing its business model, or that Whole Foods might becoming cheaper, she said. She’s interested to see what will happen.

The news comes after Amazon expanded into the brick and mortar industry earlier this year as the Internet legend opened eight bookstores across the country, with more set to come.

The store manager at Amazon Books in Lynnfield declined to comment on the purchase of Whole Foods, citing restrictions placed on employees regarding talking with the media.

The manager of Whole Foods in Lynnfield was not available for a comment at this time.

Emily Brengle of Ipswich said she doesn’t really have any idea of what might become of the store as she loaded her car with groceries at the Lynnfield location.

She uses Amazon for online shopping and really enjoys Amazon Prime, the company’s two-day shipping service.

“The only thing I care about is whether Whole Foods is going to change,” she said.


Matt Demirs can be reached at mdemirs@itemlive.com

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