Amazon wrecked the mall; now it's coming for the grocery store
Jun 20 2017 by Johnny Bowman
Amazon.com, Inc., the world's largest Internet-based retailer, said Friday it will acquire Whole Foods Market Inc., a grocery store chain featuring foods without artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners and hydrogenated fats, at a total cost estimated to be 13.7 billion USA dollars.
The Amazon-Whole Foods combination could put even more pressure on rival grocery chains and other big grocery sellers. Meanwhile, the more than 460 Whole Foods stores in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom could be turned into distribution hubs - not just for delivering groceries but as pickup centers for online orders. Online juggernaut Amazon announced Friday, June 16, 2017, that it is buying Whole Foods in a deal valued at about $13.7 billion, including debt.
"This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market's shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers", Mackey said in a statement.
Amazon has agreed to pay $42 per share in cash for Whole Foods, a 27 percent premium on the Austin, Texas-based grocer's closing share price on Thursday.
Carmen Clark, 37, a six-year employee at a store in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, said some workers worry that Amazon-led automation could lead to job cuts.
Whole Foods becomes a convenient place for Amazon customers to pick up items they ordered so they do not have to wait for delivery.
On Friday, Wal-Mart said it would buy Bonobos, a popular internet apparel retailer; previous year, it acquired Amazon competitor Jet.com and appointed that company's chief executive, Marc Lore, to strengthen its e-commerce operation.
The deal prompted a round of jokes on Twitter, with commentators poking fun at Amazon's drone and artificial intelligence technology and numerous riffs on prices at a store dubbed "Whole Paycheck". Walmart is very much taking on Amazon and utilising its network to develop ecommerce and click & collect at its thousands of stores.
He said the deal allows Amazon to quickly build up its business in groceries through buying a well-regarded brand.
Amazon would be able to sell Whole Foods prepackaged meals, which make up about 20 percent of Whole Food's sales now, Stone says. State Street and Fidelity both have a substantial amount of shares in Whole Foods, as BBJ reported. That made Instacart an exclusive partner for Whole Foods' perishable business.
Shares of Amazon were trading at $988.52 in pre-market trading, a 2.53% jump, while Whole Foods shares were down 6.74% at $33.06. For example, when it comes to buying fresh food, we like to feel, see and touch the fruits and vegetables we're buying.
Amazon is a beast in the world of online retailers.
The deal, which began when Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos approached Whole Foods CEO John Mackey about the aquisition, was brokered and advised by Goldman Sachs Group Inc.