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Whole Foods’ parking lots were busier post-Amazon, satellites show

Source: Orbital Insight and JPMorgan

At Kroger, which has taken a beating by investors in the aftermath of the Amazon-Whole Foods deal, car traffic dropped significantly in September, JPMorgan said. Satellite data showed a 7.3 percent decrease during the month. On a two-year stacked basis, the drop was even more significant, at 9.8 percent.

This suggests Kroger’s same-store sales will be down 0.8 percent in the third quarter, much lower than what analysts have been anticipating, Goldman added.

Kroger shares dove last month, after the grocer’s second-quarter profit slid nearly 8 percent as it slashed prices amid growing competition in the sector. Kroger has meantime said it expects same-store sales growth, excluding fuel, of 0.5 to 1 percent for the remainder of the fiscal year.

Kroger and Whole Foods declined to comment.

A spike in Whole Foods’ car traffic can be attributed much to the fact that Amazon promised price cuts throughout stores, starting as soon as Aug. 28. And Whole Foods has been known for its “whole paycheck” image, so the discounts have been a welcome change for many shoppers.

A study by location intelligence company Foursquare found a 25 percent increase in foot traffic at Whole Foods stores over the first two days that the company was owned by Amazon.

Since then, though, traffic has dropped off, Foursquare told CNBC in a follow-up study. In its second week under Amazon’s wings, from Sept. 4 to Sept. 10, traffic was only up about 8 percent when compared with an average week in August 2017.

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