Whole Foods is taking steps to change its "Whole Paycheck" image with another round of price cuts. According to documents seen by the Wall Street Journal, the Amazon-owned grocery chain is planning to cut prices on more than 500 items, mainly produce and meat, as of Wednesday. Sources tell the Journal that employees at the chain's 480 or so locations in the US, some of whom will be working overnight on Tuesday changing prices, were not told in advance of the cuts, which managers discussed using code names. The price of some items, like organic red mangoes, will fall by up to 50%, documents show.
The company says customers will save an average of 20% and Prime members will get an additional 10% off many items, CNN reports. Amazon cut prices soon after it bought Whole Foods in 2017 and offered Prime members more discounts last year, though the price of some items went up again in February after suppliers raised their prices. Morgan Stanley analyst Vincent Sinisi said last month that prices at Whole Foods were 15% higher than those of rivals. Amazon is also believed to be planning to open grocery stores separate from Whole Foods in many cities. Bloomberg reports that Amazon.com shares rose 1.9% Monday—making founder Jeff Bezos more than $1 billion richer—while the share price of rivals like Kroger slumped. (Read more Whole Foods stories.)