It's expected to close in the second half of 2017.
"We want to assure you that Amazon shares Whole Foods Market's deep commitment to quality and customer service". With now hundreds of physical stores, Amazon has moved form being an online retailer into brick and mortar.
Amazon has sought to both enter the grocery market with its Fresh grocery delivery service and beef up a more traditional physical retail presence with a small fleet of bookstores and mall kiosks along with two grocery stores and a convenience store in Seattle.
The announcement of Amazon's largest acquisition yet sent stock prices for major grocery chains tanking Friday morning. The Seattle-based company recently was granted a patent for technology that would block shoppers from comparing prices from their mobile devices while they're in stores.
Whole Foods has had a reputation of high prices and has been derided sometimes as "Whole Paycheck". And it should be able to bring cost-cutting technologies, such as robots to move inventory around, while the company gets a better picture of customers by marrying data from Amazon and Whole Foods' loyalty programs.
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Whole Foods will keep its headquarters in Austin and continue to operate under the Whole Foods brand with John Mackey remaining as CEO.
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 investment firm Jana Partners said in April that it had built up an ownership stake in Whole Foods because it saw ways to address its "chronic underperformance for shareholders".
The deal still needs to gain regulatory approvals and is subject to a Whole Foods shareholders vote. At the time, sources said that the deal had some exclusivity around the delivery of perishables, which perhaps means there's an opening for Amazon to take over delivery of packaged goods and prepared foods. While both companies aren't headquartered here - check out Austin Inno for the deal's impact on Whole Foods' home base - the deal is certainly going to have an impact here and everywhere else across the country, if only due to their collective reach.
The "implications ripple far beyond the food segment, where dominant players like Walmart, Kroger, Costco, and Target now have to look over their shoulders at the Amazon train coming down the tracks", O'Shea said.
The post Amazon-Whole Foods Marriage Could Disrupt Grocery Business (NASDAQ:AMZN) appeared first on Market Exclusive. Target and Walmart were each down 5 percent. Based on his forecasts, Amazon will likely rank as the ninth largest US grocery retailer this year though he expects it to assume third place by 2021, behind only Walmart and Kroger.