Months before Amazon announced it would be shelling out $13.7 billion for Whole Foods, the grocery chain made a surprise announcement of its own: It would begin lowering its prices.
The April announcement was born of necessity. Whole Foods was experiencing the longest sales slump since going public in 1992, and investors had begun pressuring the company to rethink its strategy.
The high-end grocer has long resisted lowering its prices, which has earned it the nickname "whole paycheck." The few times it has, analysts say results have been spotty, sending profit margins lower without driving up volume.
"The reductions have, quite honestly, been haphazard and...