First, Whole Foods Market rocked the area with the announcement that it would build its first Akron store on the site of the iconic West Point Market.

Then, the chain revealed the store would be a 365 by Whole Foods, becoming the fifth U.S. location for its new, smaller-scale market concept.

And most recently, online retail goliath Amazon swept in and purchased Whole Foods for nearly $14 billion, promising to shake up the grocery landscape nationwide with attractive discounts at a high-end chain that had been widely derided as “Whole Paycheck.”

With the Akron store scheduled to open Sept. 14 and Amazon completing its acquisition of Whole Foods on Monday, a new era has arrived for shoppers that has caused supermarket owners to take notice.

Here are some questions and answers about the impact of the Whole Foods saga.

Q: Can Amazon’s entry into brick-and-mortar groceries really have far-reaching consequences?

A: Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail, said Amazon’s discount strategy was nothing less than an “opening salvo” in the grocery wars — and other supermarkets’ stock fell sharply last week after Amazon revealed the plan.

“Rivals should be under no illusion that they are now dealing with a competitor that is not afraid to damage profits and margins if it creates long-term gains,” Saunders said in an analyst note.

Q: How will the discounts work?

A: Whole Foods said it will offer lower prices immediately on best-selling staples such as bananas, eggs, salmon and beef as well as organic selections such as avocados, tilapia, baby kale, apples and rotisserie chicken.

The company announced that it is working to integrate a system by which Amazon Prime members will receive special savings and in-store benefits and is exploring a customer rewards program.

“There is significant work and opportunity ahead, and we’re thrilled to get started,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO of AmazonWorldwide Consumer.

Q: Are there other benefits for Amazon customers?

A: Whole Foods stores will also now have Amazon Lockers, where customers can pick up or send returns back to Amazon during their grocery store trips.

This is a widening of the concept introduced locally last year with the Amazon@Akron store near the University of Akron.

Q: Is the grocery business a risk for Amazon to enter?

A: Whether Amazon will succeed in the fiercely competitive grocery segment is unclear, but customers are going to benefit from the attempt, said Charlie O’Shea, lead retail analyst at Moody’s Investors Service.

“Amazon can come in and price items very low,” he said. “Its shareholders are agnostic about profit, and seem more interested in revenue and market share. That’s a competitive advantage.”

And the deal comes as sales at Whole Foods have decreased.

Whole Foods reported its third quarter earnings late last month, with total sales increasing about 0.6 percent to a record $3.7 billion. However, comparable store sales decreased nearly 2 percent.

Q: But isn’t Whole Foods more of a specialty chain, catering to the organic crowd?

A: Financial analysts note that it will be tricky for Amazon to cut prices and broaden Whole Foods’ appeal without hurting the chain’s image for quality food and typically more expensive organic fare.

Supermarket chains serving the Akron area, including Acme Fresh Market, Giant Eagle and Buehler’s Fresh Food are fighting for the same customers, and they’ve broadened their offerings in a nod to the widening popularity of organic foods.

Q: Why should competitors be concerned by Whole Foods, a relatively smaller nationwide chain, teaming up with Amazon?

A: While Whole Foods accounts for less than 3 percent of U.S. grocery and supermarket sales, the purchase gives Amazon a foothold in a fragile industry that can ill-afford more price cutting.

“Lower prices could be catastrophic for some operators,” said Madeline Hurley, a senior analyst at market research firm IBISWorld. “It could drive them out of the industry.”

On average, she said, supermarkets only squeeze about $1 of profit out of every $100 in revenue.

Another advantage Amazon gains is valuable data — lots of it.

Whole Foods has more than 460 stores and gives Amazon the potentially very lucrative ability to collect information about how offline shoppers behave.

Q: What are other grocers doing to battle Amazon’s growing empire?

A: Already, rivals have been scrambling to catch up with the e-commerce giant. Amazon has been widely blamed for the accelerating decline of traditional retailers such as Macy’s and Sears. Akron-area shoppers have seen these stores disappear as anchors from Chapel Hill Mall.

But Amazon’s fulfillment centers have also created jobs here in Ohio, and Amazon’s acquisition Friday of the former Randall Park Mall site in Cuyahoga County is expected to bring 2,000 more.

Other giants in e-commerce and retail are mapping out counterpunches. Walmart, which has the largest share of the U.S. grocery market, is expanding its grocery delivery service with ride-hailing service Uber and announced last week that it will join forces with Google to let shoppers order goods by voice on Google devices.

Meanwhile, Lidl, a German-based grocer often compared to Aldi, has begun an expansion strategy into the United States and indicated recently that it will be looking to set up shop in Ohio.

But Amazon is setting out to change the way consumers view organics with its pricing strategy at Whole Foods.

“We’re determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone,” Wilke said.

The Associated Press and Dayton Daily News contributed to this report.