In August, Amazon went on a binge and acquired high-end grocer Whole Foods for 13.6 billion dollars. Many wondered what changes would come and how the high-tech and modernized Amazon approach to retail would impact the grocery chain.
A few months late, a look inside some stores shows the results aren't good.
Shelves that once showed off fresh fruit and vegetables at a premium price are bare. And customers aren't happy.
A new food ordering system called Order-to-shelf, or OTS may be the leading culprit.
OTS is a tightly controlled system designed to streamline and track product. It allows outlets to carry items that move almost literally from daily delivery trucks to store shelves. Its goal is to reduce storage costs, waste and provide a cheaper and more efficient system of managing products.
But is this effort for an almost militaristic efficiency costing Whole Foods customers, demoralizing employees and hurting the store's brand?
Is this a matter of a learning curve that will sort itself out?
Or did Amazon make a mistake implementing OTS?
And will these empty shelves leave a lasting and negative impression on customers?
There are a lot of scenarios and questions - that's where the experts from can help.
Ryan Hamilton is a is a consumer psychologist and an expert in marketing, branding and consumer decision making. Ryan is available to speak with media regarding Whole
Foods and the OTS system. Simply click on his icon to arrange an interview.
Ryan Hamilton Associate Professor of Marketing