Whole Foods Physical Stores Are Vital to Amazon's Grocery Success

Mandy Carr
June 22, 2017

On Friday Amazon announced its intention to acquire Whole Foods Market, a supermarket chain with more than 460 stores across the US, Canada and the United Kingdom, for $13.7 billion.

At a Whole Foods employee meeting on Friday, CEO and founder John Mackey proclaimed his excitement about Amazon's acquisition and gave some colorful background on how the deal went through. He said at the town hall that the company had hired Boston Consulting Group to help Whole Foods trim $300 million in costs.

Now that the companies have announced their tie-up, Mackey went on to say he is completely over the moon about Amazon.

Any buyer of Whole Foods would likely argue that it was not in the same market, said Alden Abbott, an antitrust expert with the Heritage Foundation. He praised Amazon's technology and long-term focus without indicating how they'll apply to Whole Foods.

Amazon.com can ship books, furniture and clothing across the Pacific Ocean in what seems like a blink of an eye. Amazon has an obvious ability in e-commerce, but retailers such as Wal-Mart and Target have recently aggressively stepped up their digital efforts. "If there ever was a time crunch, I'd consider it", he said. Carmen Clark, 37, a six-year employee at a store in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, said some workers worry that Amazon-led automation could lead to job cuts.

"This was a very exciting announcement because I think consumers will be the ones to benefit", said Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing at DealNews. President Di Di Chan adds, "What makes our solution different is that it works across different formats and is so user-friendly that even my grandmother loves it".

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On Friday, Amazon sent shockwaves through the world of retail by announcing its intention to buy upscale grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.7bn. He said they could not "consummate" the marriage until the deal was official, and that it was "not a Tinder relationship".

Peter Arroyo, manager of Gristedes, had more on his mind regarding the Amazon-Whole Foods deal, which he predicted will "screw up the industry in all aspects", said Arroyo.

In his address, Mackey hinted at his answer to one of the big questions hanging over the Amazon-Whole Foods merger. He noted that Amazon was known for its innovation. In his note, Turner also suggested more far-fetched integrations are possible, such as Dash reordering buttons for users' favorite restaurants.

Whole Foods Market, founded in 1978, is a natural and organic foods supermarket and certified organic grocer with approximately 87,000 staff members across the company.

The technology giant has been testing a cashier-less convenience store in Seattle where sensors track the items that shoppers put in baskets.

Other reports by Guamnewswatch

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