"Whole Foods Market will continue to operate stores under the Whole Foods Market brand and source from trusted vendors and partners around the world", Amazon said in a press release. Whole Foods will keep its brand and John Mackey, its current CEO, will remain in place.
"I anticipate that Amazon should be able to lower the cost of Whole Foods and better enable them to compete in that market and start to bring some of those great organic products that people have liked without necessarily having to capture their whole pay check", he said.
Armed with giant warehouses, shopper data, the latest technology and almost endless funds - and now with Whole Foods' hundreds of physical stores - Amazon is set to reshape a US$800 billion grocery market that is already changing rapidly.
The company unveiled plans on Friday to buy upmarket USA grocer Whole Foods Market in a massive $13.7 billion (€12.24 billion) deal. (NASDAQ:WFM), shopping center REITs tumbled more than their peers in the real estate sector. Seen here is the Whole Foods store on Valencia Blvd.in Santa Clarita. (NASDAQ:AMZN) "a launching pad not just for food but possibly drugs as well where customers aren't willing to wait even a day".
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Why would Wall Street push shares of Whole Foods higher than the offer price on the table?
"We believe AMZN can work to transform the physical retail experience". The online retail giant recently launched a new store called 'Amazon Go.' Located in Seattle, the store replaces cashiers with technology you would normally find in self-driving cars.
The acquisition stands as a huge boost for Amazon's strategy to integrate the brick-and-mortar model into its business.
RICH TARRANT: Consumer purchases in a grocery space is, you know, $600-billion industry that has yet to be massively disrupted by online.
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The transaction is subject to approval by Whole Foods Market's shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, but the parties expect to close the transaction in the second half of 2017, it added.
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.
Amazon is already playing with innovative ways to make grocery store runs more convenient. Amazon would be able to sell Whole Foods prepackaged meals, which make up about 20 percent of Whole Food's sales now, Stone says. The stock is up more than 31% so far this year.
Barclay's analyst Karen Short today noted that another offer could be placed on the table for Whole Foods, prompting her to raise her stock price target for Whole Foods to $48 per share. Right now, Ahold's stock is down by almost 10%. Walmart and Target also took significant hits.
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