The Amazonification of Whole Foods Market has been greatly exaggerated.
That's the clear message to consumers shopping the retailer's latest format, which opened in Tampa, Fla. on July 7.
From the minute a shopper walks into the new 48,000-square-foot store, Whole Foods Market's 40-year-old core values of nourishing people and planet are on full display — literally, in signs right above the cheese case:
"Our core values are: We sell the highest quality natural and organic food. We satisfy and delight our customers. We care about our communities and the environment. We promote team member growth and happiness. We practice win-win supplier partnerships. We create profits and prosperity."
At the front of the new Whole Foods there's traditional and self-checkout, but no Amazon Dash Carts or Just Walk Out cashierless technology as found in many of the Amazon Fresh stores opening across the U.S. In fact, there's few signs of Amazon's ownership at the Midtown Tampa Whole Foods, save for a few promotional cards indicating sale prices for Amazon Prime members.
Store features include: a full-service seafood counter with a focus on locally sourced options, four large hot and cold food bars with international and plant-based cuisine, a "daal" station for Indian food lovers, a cheese department overseen by an in-store American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional, a flight information board at the front end for shoppers heading to nearby Tampa International Airport, and a vast dining space lined with flatscreen TVs.