This Is Where Whole Foods (Soon, Amazon) Has Stores in the US

Frederick Owens
June 17, 2017

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.

The merger announcement said, "Whole Foods Market will continue to operate stores under the Whole Foods Market brand and source from trusted vendors and partners around the world".

Groceries have been something that Amazon has always had their eye on.

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".

When the news broke this morning that Amazon is buying Whole Foods, our first thought was: What? It also had been facing increased pressure from rivals, including European grocery chain Lidl, which is planning to enter the East Coast market, along with Aldi and Trader Joe's.

Furthermore, with the development of Amazon Go, the company's "checkout-free" grocery store concept, Whole Foods shoppers might see an elimination of checkout lines and the convenience of never having to pull out their wallets.

Perhaps, Basaru speculated, the acquisition would let consumers use Whole Foods stores to exchange or return items they bought on Amazon.

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"Amazon's brutal vision for retail is one where automation replaces good jobs". Yet while Amazon is focused on reducing prices, Whole Foods is known for its above-market costs. "John Mackey will remain as CEO and Whole Foods Market's headquarters will stay in Austin, Texas", according to the press release.

Amazon will gain a footprint of 456 supermarket stores in North America and Britain with the acquisition of Whole Foods, boosting its delivery capacity and allowing it to compete directly with USA chains such as Kroger Co and Albertsons LLC. In addition to other natural and organic grocers, it has cited pressure from restaurant chains, meal-delivery companies and traditional supermarkets such as Kroger.

However, Wal-Mart's shares fell 6.5 percent to $73.78 in morning trading after Amazon said it would buy upmarket grocer Whole Foods Market in a $13.7 billion deal.

The food retail industry has been flush with big mergers lately, but today's stunner has no precedent.

This partnership presents an incredible opportunity to take Whole Foods Market's mission and objective to new levels and best positions our company and our Team Members for future success.

Now that Amazon has acquired Whole Foods, it's hard to understand why the companies did not combine sooner.

Whole Foods has had a reputation of high prices and has been derided sometimes as "Whole Paycheck". "I think that this might be an opportunity for consumers who have felt that Whole Foods is inaccessible". Kroger sank 11.48 percent, while Costco dropped 5.64 percent. It has already made an initial push through AmazonFresh, its grocery delivery service. There could be all kinds of initiatives to repurpose the brick-and-mortar store. The deal is expected to close later this year.

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