July 11, 2017 Here’s Where Amazon Warehouses and Prime Now Areas Overlap with Whole Foods Stores – and Where There’s Room for Growth
As Amazon offers discounts on hundreds of thousands of items to Prime members for 30 hours this week – during the sale it calls Prime Day, from 9 P.M. EST Monday to 3 A.M. EST Wednesday – it’s worth taking a closer look at its Prime Now metro areas and where they overlap with its fulfillment centers and Amazon’s own new purchase: the estimated 450 Whole Foods stores the e-commerce giant is acquiring for $13.7 billion.
Amazon could potentially use Whole Foods locations to improve its ability to store food and other items, deliver the products to customers and serve as a pick-up spot for customers who order online and pick up their order from the store. (More on this here.)
We found a lot of overlap in a few states and regions, particularly east of the Mississippi River, in Texas, and on the West Coast, especially California. These are, of course, also large population centers that offer an extensive base of prospective customers.
For instance, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania have a combined population of 41.5 million as of 2016. The three states are also the site of 45 Whole Foods stores, 15 Amazon warehouses and two Prime Now delivery spots.
It’s a similar story in California, Florida and Texas. California has 39 million residents, 73 Whole Foods stores, 24 Amazon warehouses and eight Prime Now locations. Texas (with a population of 27.9 million) and Florida (20.6 million) have a combined total of 37 Whole Foods stores, 17 Amazon warehouses and three Prime Now spots.
Put together, the residents of these six states comprise just over a third of the entire U.S. population, according to the Census Bureau.
So what does all this overlap between Amazon and Whole Foods locations mean? We lay out four possible scenarios, some of which could lead to expansion and some to contraction.
- Amazon could use Whole Foods locations in those Midwestern states where its reach is minimal to expand its capacity there. Amazon and Whole Foods already have a presence in the Chicago, Minneapolis and Kansas City areas, but if Amazon chooses to use existing Whole Foods stores as a base for expansion, it could also grow in states like Colorado, which has six Whole Foods stores, or Utah, which has four.
- Amazon could use its newly expanded real estate portfolio to expand in areas it can already reach fairly easily. For instance, the Whole Foods and Amazon locations in eastern Texas, combined with the three Whole Foods stores in New Mexico, could make it easier for Amazon to serve western Texas. In areas like the Northeast and California, where there is a high concentration of Amazon and Whole Foods locations, perhaps Amazon could decide to up the fast delivery game by adding yet another tier to its system, such as delivery within half an hour of certain kinds of goods (such as groceries) in certain areas.
- Amazon could decide it would rather focus on more densely packed and highly populated urban areas, where delivery time can typically be shorter, than increase its presence significantly in the middle of the country. If that’s the case, it could potentially decide to shut down some Whole Foods stores in less populated areas where the grocery isn’t serving Amazon’s larger needs for increased storage, or additional distribution or pick-up points.
- With so many Whole Foods stores and Amazon locations concentrated in specific areas, Amazon could decide that there’s too much overlap in too small a region and shut down some Whole Foods stores in parts of the country that already have a large Amazon-Whole Foods presence, as a way to streamline costs.
We don’t know exactly how Amazon will be using its Whole Foods locations, but looking at the map gives us a better sense of the possibilities.
We arrived at the number of Whole Foods and Amazon Prime locations by scraping their websites for the information. The number of Amazon warehouses and fulfillment centers came from tax automation software provider Avalara and has not been independently verified by Amazon.