Grocers facing a united Amazon-Whole Foods must adapt

Cesar Mills
June 20, 2017

When Amazon bought the video-streaming site Twitch Interactive for about $1 billion in 2014, the deal prompted concerns that the startup would drastically change.

Whole Foods may just be the beginning. Amazon "didn't put this out of reach for everybody else" in terms of price, he said.

And Whole Foods shares climbed 29 percent to $42.68 Friday - more than the $42 deal price - indicating investors expect another bidder may emerge. Some speculated (before the acquisition) that were such a thing to happen it was likely that Whole Foods retail locations would serve Amazon best if they were turned into warehouses. Kroger shares were up 1.3 percent at $22.59 on Monday afternoon."Kroger would have to pay in stock, and their stock has been hurting", giving them less leverage to get into a protracted bidding war with Amazon, Culpepper said. He explained that he and a few senior executives flew up to Seattle to meet with Amazon counterparts. And the pricing pressure may intensify.

The massive acquisition raises the possibility that Amazon could disrupt both the grocery market and the in-store shopping experience more broadly. "ORCRP016487-topic.html" class="local_link" >Wal-Mart Stores Inc. Whole Foods Market's "over 460" stores in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom might not be a match for Walmart's almost 12,000 stores across 28 countries and 63 banners, but Amazon is only looking at the domestic market and the United Kingdom at this point, as far as groceries are concerned.

During the town hall, Mackey repeatedly compared the deal with Amazon to a romantic relationship.

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That's the vision Amazon has for Whole Foods now that the e-commerce giant wants to acquire the organic grocer for some $13.7 billion in an all-cash transaction!

Ocado's share price has waned in recent years after it struggled to land an overseas deal for its software platform.

Whole Foods now has 431 stores nationwide ― and it is a beloved option for organic produce and local products already.

Online retailing has wreaked havoc on brick-and mortar retailing or department stores like Macy's (M - Free Report), Kohl's KSS, J.C. Penney JCP, Nordstrom (JWN - Free Report) and many others. If you look at the results of Walmart.com in the last several quarters, they are driving increased revenue and getting a lot of growth on its ecommerce platform, especially in food. "He could make some shocking changes that could be deadly to some of these [existing] brands". Whole Foods has also been pushing private labels in order to compete on price, so this would give Amazon a solid base to work from in creating its own in-house food brands. With Whole Foods, Amazon CEO Bezos is embracing the grocery chain most focused on organics and natural foods, and he would be riding another trend that's been upending the packaged foods sector.

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