Amazon Buys Whole Foods
Amazon has announced that they will be buying American grocery chain Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion. The acquisition is part of a merger agreement in which pay $42 per share in an all-cash transaction.
“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder, and CEO. “Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for nearly four decades – they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue.”
Whole Foods will continue to operate under their own brand and will still get their products from their trusted global vendors and partners. John Mackey will remain as CEO of Whole Foods and the company will stay in Austin, Texas.
“This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience, and innovation to our customers,” said John Mackey, Whole Foods Market co-founder, and CEO.
In the past few years, Amazon has experimented with opening their own retail stores with physical bookstores and their grocery store with no cashier or checkout lines called Amazon Go.
Amazon Go stores would use computer vision and sensors to detect when items are being taken out of the store. To enter an Amazon Go, just scan you phone using an app and you’re off to the races. Then you would roam the aisles as you would a normal grocery stores. And once you’re done, all you have to do is exit the store and your account will be charged for the groceries you picked up.
And this is not the first time that Amazon has dealt with groceries, one of their products, Amazon Fresh, is all about delivering groceries to their customers.
Back in December, The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon was looking into a way to opening up to 2,000 grocery stores under their own brand and presumably some with the Amazon Go cashier-less system.
It seems as if Jeff Bezos wants to become not only the world’s #1 place to shop online but also in person too.
Whole Foods has over 460 locations across the US and few in Canada and the UK. It’s unclear if Amazon plans to change some of the stores to Amazon Go-type locations but anything could happen.
The acquisition is expected to go through during the second half of 2017.