• The Street has a piece that starts out this way:
"Impulsive Amazon purchases can cause even the most conscious consumer to scratch her head. But when Amazon itself makes a purchase for nearly $14 billion, one might imagine there's also a multiyear, highly detailed plan of execution that goes along with it."
That purchase, of course, is Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods, which hasn't exactly gone like it planned. Perhaps, The Street suggests, because Amazon didn't really have a plan. It just wanted to make a splash, and would figure things out later. (In 2017, that may seemed like a good strategy. Today, not so much.)
The story points out that while Amazon wanted to make a play in the mass-market grocery world, Whole Foods didn't fulfill that need - it was too much of a niche player, albeit a big niche player, to satisfy Amazon's needs. And then, Amazon's various other attempts to grow a grocery presence - Amazon Go, Amazon Fresh - have only been intermittently successful.
Now, there are reports suggesting that "the best use of Whole Foods for Amazon might be to build a number of off-site kitchens to deliver more items for Whole Foods’ food bars, and to ultimately help it compete further in the food delivery service world against DoorDash. Last year, Amazon bought a stake in GrubHub, and offered Prime subscribers a one-year membership to the food delivery service, indicating it may want to push further into the meal delivery space."
And, CEO Andy Jassy keeps saying he wants the company to succeed at groceries, but he hasn't found the best/right format yet.
Which basically brings us back to the beginning - that in 2017, when Amazon bought Whole Foods, it might've been nice if they actually had a plan.