Whole Foods rivals may die, but shoppers love price cuts

Joseph Pisani / AP

The shares of most major U.S. grocery chains sank after the first day of price-slashing by Amazon at its new Whole Foods subsidiary, but shoppers appeared unmoved by the possibility that food could end up like books — largely the preserve of a single national seller.

Kroger, Costco and Walmart saw their share price fall in after-hours trading yesterday evening, as they have ever since Amazon announced June 16 that it was buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. Costco is down by 15% since then, and Kroger by 28%. Walmart, which is putting up the toughest battle against Amazon, has done better: its share price had been down by as much as 7% six weeks ago, but it has all-but completely recovered since then.