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Unread 2017-06-16, 10:47 AM   #1
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Default Amazon is buying Whole Foods Market in $13.7-billion deal






A Whole Foods Market on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles in 2015. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)







Amazon.com Inc. is buying Whole Foods Market Inc. in an all-cash deal valued at about $13.7 billion, including the high-end grocery chain’s debt, the companies announced Friday.
Amazon is to pay $42 a share for Whole Foods, a 27% premium over Whole Foods’ Thursday closing price of $33.06.
The grocery chain will still run stores under the Whole Foods brand, keep its headquarters in Austin and retain John Mackey as chief executive, the companies said.
“This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers,” Mackey said in a statement.
The deal is expected to close in the second half of this year. It still needs approval from Whole Foods shareholders and regulators, the companies said.
Whole Foods shares leaped 26.8% to $41.91 in early trading Friday. Amazon shares climbed 3.4% to $996.91.
The acquisition marks Amazon’s biggest foray into groceries — a market in which the e-commerce giant has dabbled for years. It launched its AmazonFresh delivery service in its hometown of Seattle in 2007 and expanded the same-day and early-morning service to Los Angeles in 2013 before tackling other locations nationwide.
Whole Foods, meanwhile, has been rumored as a takeover target in recent years. The company has reported annual sales growth each year for more than a decade, but its profit has been shrinking lately.
The Amazon deal is “maybe what the doctor ordered for Whole Foods,” said Ron Johnston, who publishes the Shelby Report, which tracks the grocery industry. “Amazon is innovative and aggressive and certainly has the capital to infuse and do the kind of things that fit with their management model.”
The grocery market is a place where Amazon’s competitors, such as Target and Wal-Mart, have historically had a leg up.
That could change, said Paul Cuatrecasas, chief executive of corporate finance advisory firm Aquaa Partners. “This deal should leave no doubt that Amazon is deadly serious about dominating all aspects of retail,” he said.
"It is pivotal because the most effective way for traditional companies to fight off disruption, from the likes of Amazon, has been to depend on their industry expertise and physical footprint, while strategically acquiring tech startups to tool themselves up to compete,” Cuatrecasas said. "This deal has dramatically flipped the table on those traditional companies.”
While Amazon may integrate Whole Foods’ business into its sprawling global logistics operation, it would be unwise for the e-commerce giant to vastly and quickly change the in-store shopping experience, analysts said.
“Everybody’s in the [groceries] game, so I think the worst mistake would be to try and reinvent what obviously has been successful for Whole Foods," Johnston said.
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Unread 2017-06-16, 11:42 AM   #2
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Insanity... always thought google was skynet... but it might be amazon.
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Unread 2017-06-16, 12:16 PM   #3
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The truth behind the purchase.
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Unread 2017-06-16, 02:37 PM   #4
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here comes the Amazon go Grocery stores with auto checkout
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Unread 2017-06-16, 02:51 PM   #5
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relevant:


https://www.google.com/amp/www.zdnet...ices-in-store/
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Unread 2017-08-28, 11:59 AM   #6
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Amazon Cuts Whole Foods Prices as Much as 43% on First Day





Amazon Moves Quickly to Show Whole Foods Changes


Amazon.com Inc. spent its first day as the owner of a brick-and-mortar grocery chain cutting prices at Whole Foods Market as much as 43 percent.
At the store on East 57th Street in Manhattan, organic fuji apples were marked down to $1.99 a pound from $3.49 a pound; organic avocados went to $1.99 each from $2.79; organic rotisserie chicken fell to $9.99 each from $13.99, and the price of some bananas was slashed to 49 cents per pound from 79 cents. The marked-down items had orange signs reading “Whole Foods + Amazon.” The signs listed the old price, the new price and “More to come...”.
#lazy-img-317096189:before{padding-top:100.75%;}

The Amazon Echo, a voice-activated electronic assistant, was also for sale at the store for $99.99 -- a sharp pivot into electronics for a company known for kale and quinoa. The Echo Dot, a smaller version, was advertised for $44.99.



The tech giant’s $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods has sent shock waves through the already changing $800 billion supermarket industry. The wedding between Amazon and the upscale grocery promises to upend the way customers shop for groceries. Cutting prices at the chain with such an entrenched reputation for high cost that its nickname is Whole Paycheck is a sign that Amazon is serious about taking on competitors such as Wal-Mart Stores Inc., Kroger Co. and Costco Wholesale Corp.

#lazy-img-317095607:before{padding-top:66.7%;}

Whole Foods Market is lowering their prices. Photographer: David Williams
“Price was the largest barrier to Whole Foods’ customers,” said Mark Baum, a senior vice president at the Food Marketing Institute, an industry group. “Amazon has demonstrated that it is willing to invest to dominate the categories that it decides to compete in. Food retailers of all sizes need to look really hard at their pricing strategies, and maybe find some funding sources to build a war chest.”
Simon Salamon, 60, a regular Whole Foods shopper, said the price drop brought him to the East 57th Street store.
“It reminded me why I shop at Amazon,” he said. “Ninety-nine percent of the time they have the best prices and their return policy is great. With the prices lower, I think we’re more likely to shop here every day.”
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Unread 2017-08-28, 12:17 PM   #7
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I'm really curious to see what Amazon will be able to do with Whole Foods.
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Unread 2017-08-28, 02:19 PM   #8
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The organic market is bullshit, but if you can sell it for the same price as the non-organic food, that's a good start.
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Unread 2017-08-28, 09:46 PM   #9
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While I don't believe organic is bullshit like some people do, because pesticides are so good for you......said no one ever. I did notice today some price drops today when I went grocery shopping which I think is great! Organic shredded cheese was only .50 cents more per package than non-organic which is awesome! Organic tomatoes and other vegetables were cheaper! While it's not a huge impact on the bill overall as I don't buy more than 4 days worth of food but I forgot how much crap vegetables cost at Walmart. Organic just doesn't last as long at home as the junk from other stores, why? Because it's not modified to age slower or sprayed with a bunch of cancer causing chemicals! The chemicals and gmo vegetables do t have the same great flavor as real food does. Organic meats and all kinds of foods tatste better. I realized how bland a lot of food is once our household switched, you don't notice it at first but after a month you do. If you all want to each the other stuff then go ahead but I'll take my organic food any day. The only thing that sucks is I don't get a lot of selection but I can deal with it because I feel better inside.

Personally I think it's a shame that we all don't have access to clean food, they serve people this crap to people and try to tell people it's ok to eat which is bullshit. Then again people are also willing to eat fake ass McDonald's food and people know it's crap so whatever.

They also have amazon lockers which is neat but will not benefit me at all. I hope they go thru the store and really start cutting costs all around but we will see.

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Unread 2017-08-29, 08:44 AM   #10
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I respect your opinion, but it is a VERY misleading industry. There is no scientific evidence supporting them (organics) being more nutritious. Organic farms need 3x more land to produce there food, than conventional farms because they yeild so little. They tell you it's pesticide free. Incorrect. They use "natural" pesticides, and in doing so they have to use 3 times more of it, including copper sulfate which has been proven to cause liver cancer. I read that pyrethrin studies showed a 4 fold increase in leukemia with farmers that used the natural pesticide. Organics are for the rich. That's why, at first, studies seemed to indicate healthier people were linked to organics,but the fact of the matter is, that most organic food is consumed through wealthier people, and wealthier people have better access to medical care than the poor or middle class do. I've said it a hundred times. we are living longer because of advancements in medical science and better understanding of sanitary conditions and living. Most people can't tell the difference in organic and non-organic foods. Meats, yes you can taste the difference, but you're allowing for more pathogens and bacteria to get to free range cows/pigs etc. when you allow them to roam greater distances freely (which takes up more land). Salmonella has been found in LOTS of organic food (all though, very low) due to the fact they use manure. If your looking to live longer or stay healthier than exercise more and cut back on heavily processed foods,and this alone will help you more so than organic food, and it doesn't cost you a arm and a leg. science is what is keeping us alive longer, not the food we're consuming. With that said, I'm not saying it's a bad thing, just not worth the extra money and hype. I would be more worried about the clothes I wear, the things I exposed my skin to on a daily basis or just the air I'm breathing in a heavily populated city, more so than the food I eat.
I didn't really touch on cancer in this, but without going into a long post, the probability of you getting cancer from just food related chemicals is pretty low if your eating a balanced "diet". Cancer has a whole host of issues to take into consideration when yrying to determine what the cause is. Age, physical activity, obesity, genetics, environment, smoker, drink alcohol, etc. These all play a roll. Both my parents died from cancer, each before they were 60. my mom didn't live a very healthy lifestyle, but my dad did. Go figure.
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Unread 2018-05-17, 09:35 AM   #11
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New Whole Foods savings incoming for Amazon Prime members





Amazon announced another new benefit for Prime subscribers today. Over the course of the next few months, members will be eligible for 10% off already-reduced sale items at Whole Foods stores, plus "deep discounts on select best-selling items."
Currently limited to Florida, Amazon says the savings will roll out across the country over the course of this summer. In order to get your discounts, you'll need to sign into and scan your Whole Foods app at checkout, which will also feature some of the deal highlights for the week.
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Unread 2018-07-02, 09:46 AM   #12
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New Era at Amazon’s Whole Foods Grates on Some Suppliers, Employees

Suppliers fight fees, while workers push to unionize a year after merger






Since buying Whole Foods last August, Amazon has been making its mark on the supermarket, and not everyone is happy about the changes.PHOTO: MELISSA LYTTLE FOR THE WALL STREET JOURNAL






Amazon.com Inc. AMZN -0.02% has infused Whole Foods with its efficient, data-driven ethos in the year since it bought the natural grocer. But not all Whole Foods employees and suppliers are happy about that.
Suppliers say they are angry at the higher rates Whole Foods now charges them to sell their products there, with some refusing to sign new contracts. At Whole Foods stores, hundreds of layoffs have upset workers and led to calls for unionization.
“There has never been a time in Whole Foods’ history more ripe for widespread labor organization,” a group of employees wrote in a letter last month as part of their efforts to organize workers.
Amazon and Whole Foods spokeswomen declined to comment.
A year after Amazon bought Whole Foods for $13.5 billion, the e-commerce giant is making its mark on the nation’s largest natural and organic supermarket. Year-over-year sales at Whole Foods stores are up since the takeover, as consumers respond to new delivery options and enhanced benefits for Amazon Prime members. The store recently introduced 10% discounts for Prime members at all 460 stores, and it offers two-hour delivery in 19 cities.
Employees said Amazon’s changes since its August purchase closed have been gradual and considered, and many said they were relieved that activist investors are no longer putting pressure on Whole Foods, as they were in 2017 after two years of falling sales and before the chain sold itself to Amazon.
One thing that hasn’t changed: Whole Foods co-founder John Mackey is still at the helm and continues to spend time in stores, talking to employees and checking out operations.
Still, Amazon is exerting its influence. Whole Foods has hired workers from Amazon, including a new head of compensation and benefits who worked at Amazon’s Seattle headquarters for nearly four years as senior compensation manager. Amazon also has been looking for a Seattle-based executive to develop products for Whole Foods and liaise between the companies “on everything from strategy to execution,” according to a job posting.
At the same time, Whole Foods is laying off hundreds of in-store marketing staff who filled out chalkboard signs and organized local events. Monday is their last day. More finance and purchasing decisions are being made at Whole Foods headquarters in Austin, Texas. Whole Foods executives say that centralization is making the company nimbler and saving money.
“Please note this wasn’t an easy decision and isn’t a reflection of the dedication of the work you do,” Whole Foods leaders said in a recent conference call announcing the cuts to marketing staff in the Midwest, according to an audio recording reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.


For many suppliers, Amazon is helping spur Whole Foods sales after two tough years. Cereal maker Kashi Co. and kombucha brewer GT’s Living Foods are some of the health-food brands that have seen sales grow since the deal, according to data firm inMarket.
But many suppliers are angry that Whole Foods has added fees of at least 3% to restock shelves and run promotions for vendors who sell around $300,000 in products annually. The increases surpass what rival chains routinely charge for merchandising changes, food company executives said.
“A lot of our members are perplexed, just completely dumbfounded,” said Phil Kafarakis, president of Specialty Food Association, which represents both suppliers that have gone along with the new fees and ones that have refused.
Whole Foods planned the fee increase before Amazon’s acquisition, but executives are now using the promise of wider, Amazon-fueled sales to push suppliers to agree to the charges.
“We are excited about the new growth opportunities that exist as we continue to innovate with Amazon,” Whole Foods wrote in a recent email to vendors who hadn’t agreed to new contracts. “Unfortunately, we have yet to receive your full commitment to support the program.”
Whole Foods says the fees and centralized merchandising strategy mean that suppliers’ goods will be displayed and promoted more consistently, helping drive sales. They also will be additional marketing efforts, according to the company.


Many food companies say they have no choice but to go with the tougher terms.
“You play ball,” said Donald Snyder of Green Hasson Janks LLP, a Los Angeles-based accounting firm that met with clients last month to discuss the changes at Whole Foods. “They are a great source of revenue.”
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Unread 2018-07-04, 06:10 PM   #13
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Unionization, LOL.

I will say that since amazon took over, I’ve saved enough to pay for my yearly prime membership and my sons Xbox live membership. Between 5%, 10% and several discounted purchases, they have lowered prices to normal rates of regular stores who sell GMO and other non-organic foods on a lot of my everyday items.

I know amazon is evil like apple and google but man the savings are nice.
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Unread 2018-07-05, 08:54 AM   #14
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Think of the money you'd be saving if you didn't by organic.😁
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Unread 2018-07-05, 11:32 AM   #15
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Think of the money you'd be saving if you didn't by organic.😁
Organic is a joke.
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Unread 2018-07-05, 11:46 AM   #16
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Organic is a joke.
Well, that pretty much sums it up.

The whole industry is based off circumstantial evidence AT BEST. It's fear mongering at its best.
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Unread 2018-07-05, 12:49 PM   #17
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Well, that pretty much sums it up.

The whole industry is based off circumstantial evidence AT BEST. It's fear mongering at its best.


Don’t get me started with “farm to table” restaurants too.


NEWS FLASH!! It’s all farm to table
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Unread 2018-07-05, 05:17 PM   #18
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I just did some light research on the subject........I can't believe people actually buy into that. Seriously. Not only are you paying way more for your food, the term itself is very vague.
Did a quick Google, and there's quite a few around the KC area.
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Unread 2018-07-06, 08:11 AM   #19
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I just did some light research on the subject........I can't believe people actually buy into that. Seriously. Not only are you paying way more for your food, the term itself is very vague.
Did a quick Google, and there's quite a few around the KC area.

Yeah, it caters to those that also push “buying local” and avoid “corporate” joints like the plague. I get it, and it’s not a bad idea on the surface, but those corporate places do source products locally, and the wages and tips earned are putting roofs over local folks’ heads and used to feed their families.
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Unread 2018-07-06, 10:12 AM   #20
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Yeah, it caters to those that also push “buying local” and avoid “corporate” joints like the plague. I get it, and it’s not a bad idea on the surface, but those corporate places do source products locally, and the wages and tips earned are putting roofs over local folks’ heads and used to feed their families.
What's the big deal if it's not local? Just the fact you're not supporting your local farming community I guess?

Even if you could get it to work on a larger scale locally, is the juice really worth the squeeze?
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Unread 2018-10-10, 04:13 PM   #21
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Leaked Whole Foods Email Clarifies How Amazon's Pay Raises Will Work







Photo: Drew Anthony Smith (Getty)
Last week, Amazon stunned critics by announcing a $15-per-hour pay floor for all employees and temps across its own facilities and those of its subsidiaries like Whole Foods Market. Excitement gave way to confusionamong workers operating with scant details as to how these raises would impact hourly employees making close to or above $15.
An internal email sent today by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey clarifies certain aspects of the pay changes—slated to go into effect November 1—and muddles others.

According to Mackey, workers making $14 or more currently will be bumped up by $1, while Team Leaders in the same situation will receive a $2 increase. While Amazon scores points for backing a progressive minimum wage hike, veterans of the company are the ones feeling shafted. “This means that I will make only a dollar more than new team members and I’ve been promoted 5 times while being here almost 6 years,” a current Whole Foods employee told Gizmodo via email. “I’d like to hear from John Mackey why my years of work and dedication under their constant missteps is worth only a dollar more than a new team member.”
For others, the gap between their pay and green recruits might be even slimmer, with one Team Member claiming their hourly rate after November 1 will clock in at a whole four cents above starting wage.
Mackey’s email does little to square his own September 12 announcement of returning stock benefits for Whole Foods workers with Amazon’s announcement that those same grants would disappear under the new schema. His email alludes to a “one-time grant” for Whole Foods employees with 6,000 or more hours of service, but it does not specify a vesting time or the number of shares offered.
The announcement squares somewhat with information reported by Bloomberg on Amazon’s own pay increases, which appear to have increased from $1 to $1.25 for workers already at $15-per-hour, and will include periodic cash bonuses every five years of service that range from $1,500 to $3,000. To some degree, these changes may be meant to mitigate backlash from workers who believed, despite the wage floor increase, that their overall compensation would drop due to the company phasing out productivity incentive bonuses and stock options.
We’ve reached out to Whole Foods and Amazon for clarification and will update if we hear back.
Read Mackey’s full email below:
Dear Fellow Team Members,
Many of you are aware that our first year with Amazon was heavily focused on lowering prices, implementing Prime Benefits, and establishing Prime Now in 52 cities. These three programs have all been very successful in increasing our sales and we greatly appreciate the hard work of our Team Members as we continue to elevate the customer experience. As we close out the year and look to 2019, we’re committed to investing in Team Member Growth and Happiness and reenergizing the Team Member experience. This will include the Cultural Champions program and enhanced training and development opportunities that I discussed in the September 12 letter, as well as changes to compensation that will result in our hourly Team Members taking home more money in their paychecks.
I appreciate all of you who have shared your feedback with me and with your leadership teams following Tuesday’s starting minimum wage announcement from Amazon. We are listening carefully and know that many of you have questions about what this change means for you. Here’s an update based on the questions you’ve told us are most important:
Total Cash Compensation & Take Home Pay:
We’re focused on increasing total Team Member cash compensation in a more predictable and consistent way. We’re extremely excited that all Whole Foods Market hourly Team Members across the company will see a base wage rate increase effective November 1, including those who are already making $15 or more per hour. Here’s the breakdown of increased wage rates for current hourly Team Members based on positions:
· The rate of pay for all full-time and part-time Team Members currently earning less than $14 per hour will be raised to $15 per hour.
· All Team Members, other than Team Leaders, earning $14 per hour or more will receive a $1 per hour raise.
· All Team Leaders in stores and facilities will receive an increase of $2 per hour.
As we looked at total compensation, we evaluated our labor gainsharing program and realized that it no longer serves our Team Members as intended. Our projections indicate that with our current labor gainsharing model, very few team members would receive any financial benefits in 2019. Given the above, combined with the increases in hourly pay that were announced last week, labor gainsharing will be discontinued on November 18. All stores with labor deficits will have their deficits canceled at that time and Team Members will be paid out all remaining labor gainsharing surpluses in their December 8 paycheck.
“Shared Fate” remains a priority for the company and by making a significant investment in higher hourly compensation, we are striving to create meaningful wage increases and higher consistent take-home pay for our Team Members. We commit that all our hourly Team Members will see an increase in total pay and promise to quickly fix any apparent exceptions. We’re also especially proud to continue our commitment to out full-time/part-time ration of 70%/30%, which we believe is the highest in the supermarket industry.
Equity:
Keeping with the commitment I communicated in my last letter, we will offer a one-time restricted stock unit (RSU) grant to all Team Members with over 6,000 service hours who have not yet received any RSUs. We will provide more details in the coming weeks.
It’s important that your dedication and commitment are recognized, both financially and through growth and development opportunities. In addition to the investment in increased wage and the one-time RSU grant, we’re focused on additional investments that support Team Member Growth and Happiness including more tools, training and technology to make it easier for you to do your job and better serve our customers. A great example of this will be a new program that will recognize and appreciate our Team Members and stores who excel at delivering on our core value of satisfying and delighting our customers. This new program will being in 2019 and we will share more information in the coming months.
Prior to our merger with Amazon, the short-term comps-driven pressure of the investment community limited the company’s ability to operate our business for the long-term good of all of our stakeholders. Amazon has freed us to think long-term once again, and it makes me very happy that with their vision and leadership we are able to improve pay for our Team Members going forward. While this investment will raise our costs, over the long-term it will increase Team Member happiness, make it easier to hire and retain talent, and improve our ability to serve customers. We know you will have more questions and we will be providing updates and detailed information in the coming weeks and months as we have it.
Thank you for all you do for Whole Foods Market and for supporting our company’s purpose “To Nourish People and the Planet.” Whole Foods Market is only as good as our Team Members make us and we are so very fortunate to have such wonderful people working for our company.
With Love and Gratitude,
John

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