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Amazon’s Price Cuts on Food Leave Rivals Bracing for Impact

  • ‘High-velocity decision making’ comes to grocery industry
  • ‘It will disrupt the way the sector works,’ A.T. Kearney says
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Amazon Moves Quickly to Show Whole Foods Changes

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A price war has raged in U.S. supermarket aisles for well over a year, bloodying retailers big and small. On Monday, Amazon.com Inc. plans to toss a smart bomb into the fray.

The online giant’s move to slash prices on everything from organic baby kale to fair-trade bananas on the same day its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc. closes showed the “high-velocity decision making” Amazon founder Jeff Bezos claims as his hallmark, and sent shares of Kroger Co., Costco Wholesale Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. reeling Thursday. Amazon will also begin selling Whole Foods’ store brands on its site, install Amazon pickup lockers in some locations and meld its Prime program into the upscale grocer’s operations.