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Amazon to buy Whole Foods Market

Amazon to buy Whole Foods Market

Amazon to buy Whole Foods Market

Amazon.com sent a shock wave through the grocery industry Friday when it announced plans to buy Whole Foods Market and formally enter the world of bricks-and-mortar retail. Amazon is buying Whole Foods Market: a $13.7 billion deal.

Amazon already offers a home delivery service for groceries in certain markets.

John Meyer, a portfolio and security analyst, said a "price war" between brick and mortar stores is already occurring.

The deal has the possibility to be "transformative", Moody's lead retail analyst Charlie O'Shea said in a note, "not just for food retail, but for retail in general".

The merger of Whole Foods and Amazon is expected to close later in 2017 after gaining approval from US regulators and Whole Foods' stockholders.

Whole Foods, founded in 1978, has struggled to differentiate itself as competitors and has cited pressure from restaurant chains, meal-delivery companies and traditional supermarkets. In the fiscal year 2016, the Company had sales of approximately $16 billion and has more than 460 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

- Supervalu. The grocery store operator lost 54 cents, or 14.4 percent, to $3.22.

When Amazon approached, Whole Foods turned again to Evercore.

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The deal will put fresh pressure on Walmart, which has been aggressively expanding its online business to win over consumers.

Amazon has already made inroads into tackling the grocery market in the U.S. and UK.

"This shows that online is going to be very dominant in the grocery business - and very quickly", said Errol Schweizer, a former Whole Foods executive. The Seattle-based company was recently granted a patent for technology that would block shoppers from comparing prices from their mobile devices while they're in stores. In order for Amazon to get the volume growth they are looking for, fresh foods has to be part of the equation.

Google Shopping: Google also have ties with Whole Foods, and one possibility with the recent Amazon acquisition is transferring deliveries to Amazon, and far away from Google. Instacart allows some retail partners to take small investments in the company, and Whole Foods owns less than 1%, the source said.

Whole Foods did not embrace Jana's suggestions. That could change if Amazon not only cuts operational costs but passes those savings onto customers.

Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos said, "Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy".

West Hartford resident Nancy Kennedy, 88, who stopped by the Whole Foods store to shop, said she does not go online because she's not familiar with digital technology. But if customers know that what they are getting is the same as what they'd get at the local store, they are more likely to try it out. With a $13.4 billion purchase, Amazon is stepping up its game and hoping to get an even stronger foothold in the retail market.

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