Legacy supermarkets, such as Kroger and Safeway, have ingrained practices that often have existed for decades. They range from how they set prices to how they pick what to offer, how they organize their stores, and how they evaluate success and failure. With the Whole Foods acquisition, many of these industry practices will be challenged.

Amazon manages its online retail site in a way fundamentally different from how most retail supermarkets operate. For example, at Amazon the customer is a central unit of analysis, but in many supermarkets the products are the focus. Many retailers employ sophisticated category management practices, but they are far less involved with sophisticated customer management programs.