Supermarket chains have long kept prices of select staples low to draw people into their stores, banking that the discounts would pay off as increased foot traffic sends other items flying off shelves.
Amazon, which says it aims to match in its online store the lowest price offered by competitors, has long put a priority on gaining new customers over immediate profits.
The company has spent more than a decade experimenting with the delivery of Food items ordered online — with AmazonFresh and, more recently, drive-through pickup locations — with little to show for it.
Just 25 percent of U.S. adults have ever shopped for foodstuffs on Amazon, according to a survey by investment bank UBS, the smallest percentage for any major category of consumer goods sold by the online retail giant.
Kroger, the owner of QFC and Fred Meyer, stressed in an emailed statement Monday its “unending commitment to lower prices.” Shares of the giant grocery chain have slumped 28 percent since Amazon announced it would buy Whole Foods.
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