Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers,Food

Amazon.com: Online Shopping for Electronics, Apparel, Computers,Food

Amazon to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, wielding online might in brick-and-mortar world

Walmart and Amazon in acquisition shopping spree in retail battle

Amazon shakes up the grocery business with its $13.7-billion deal to buy Whole Foods

Cut fruit for sale are pictured inside a Whole Foods Market in the Manhattan borough of New York City
Cut fruit for sale are pictured inside a Whole Foods Market in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. June 16, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

A former grocery expert at Amazon predicted that the chain, nicknamed “Whole Paycheck”, would add a selection of discounted food and build out non-grocery areas within stores, particularly for pharmacy and Amazon devices.

“There’s no value in Amazon keeping the status quo at Whole Foods. Whole Foods was losing market share to Kroger,” said Brittain Ladd, who until earlier this year was a senior manager working to roll out AmazonFresh globally.

“It’s pharmacy. It’s having the ability to put stores that are similar to Apple stores inside Whole Foods,” he said.

Amazon has been looking at shop layouts that could allow traditional in-store purchase, online ordering with on-site pickup, and home delivery, using store warehouse space as a distribution point, Ladd said.

Despite Amazon’s reputation for harnessing technology, a prototype store inside its corporate office in Seattle, called Amazon Go, which uses sensors and tech-savvy cameras to detect shoppers’ selections and then charge their Amazon accounts, has rolled out more slowly than planned, a person familiar with the matter said.

And while some analysts expect Amazon to bring vast buying power to Whole Foods, Amazon’s heft in the food market is far smaller than in other areas, and high demand for organic products gives farmers unusual bargaining power.

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Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said plans do not include reducing jobs as the result of the deal and that the company does not plan to automate Whole Foods cashiers jobs with Amazon Go technology.

WHOLE FOODS WAS UNDER PRESSURE

The deal unfolded after Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s chief executive officer, approached Whole Foods CEO John Mackey about a month ago and received an eager response from Mackey, two people familiar with the matter said.

The grocer will continue to operate stores under the Whole Foods Market brand, and Mackey will remain CEO, the companies said.

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