Markets

Amazon Buys Whole Foods

Amazon Buys Whole Foods

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

Madeline Hurley, a grocery analyst with IBIS World, an industry research company, said Amazon will likely revamp Whole Foods' internet presence.

Some customers said they believe Whole Foods shoppers will quickly adapt if Amazon does widen the online grocery shopping experience.

Adrienne Anderson, at a Whole Foods in Savannah, Georgia, says she shops at Whole Foods nearly exclusively for meat and fresh produce "because of the quality and selection" and because fruits and vegetables are locally sourced.

"I think that they are a very profit-driven company, so there might be some streamlining as far as labor", said Sasha Hardin, 28, of the Mount Pleasant store, who has been with Whole Foods for 6-1/2 years. Whole Foods itself had launched an offshoot chain named after its "365" private label brand in a nod to the popularity of no-frills chains.

Amazon announced Friday they would buy Whole Foods Markets; a move that sent Kroger shares tumbling.

In April, this hedge fund disclosed what amounted to a almost 10% stake in Whole Foods and immediately began pressing for changes it believed would spur growth, such as a management shake-up or finding a buyer.

RICH TARRANT: Consumer purchases in a grocery space is, you know, $600-billion industry that has yet to be massively disrupted by online.

"Amazon can now answer the question, What are we having for dinner", he says.

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Whole Foods, often derided as "Whole Paycheck" for its high prices, could see its reputation change if Amazon, a master at undercutting its brick-and-mortar rivals, passes any savings from automation to customers.

For so long the e-commerce standard bearer and enemy of shop-keepers everywhere, Amazon.com - not satisfied with sniping from the sidelines - is going behind enemy lines with a series of investments in bricks and mortar outlets.

The AP reported that Campbell Soup, Hormel, General Mills and Sysco shares fell between 3.2 and 3.3 percent, while United Natural Foods shares dropped 8.6 percent.

SELYUKH: Outside the Whole Foods in Northeast Washington, the shoppers were broadly pleased with the news - two trusted brands coming together, presumably planning to offer something high-quality and convenient - but then a big-picture step back from Sam Bernstein.

"That sort of thing has gone on for a while", Dineen said at The Alameda Whole Foods in San Jose.

In a news release, Amazon said it would acquire the upscale supermarket chain for $42 a share in an all-cash transaction that includes that company's net debt, Efe news reported.

Mackey, who founded Whole Foods in 1980, serves as chief executive officer.

Whole Foods has already been reducing prices to try to turn around its worst sales slump since going public in 1992.

Whole Foods had fiscal 2016 sales of about $16 billion.


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