Amazon is buying Whole Foods in a stunning move that gives it hundreds of stores across the U.S., a brand-new laboratory for radical retail experiments that could revolutionise the way people buy groceries. The deal is subject to approval from both the regulators and shareholders and the company expects the deal to close in 2H17.
Use the map below to compare the concentration of Whole Foods stores (in green shading) with Amazon's distribution and fulfillment network (use the menu drop-down option to change views). Whole Foods also declined to comment. "We've been assured. Over time, there could be other formats that evolve that - that might - wouldn't be branded Whole Foods Market, potentially, wouldn't be our standards".
A $48-a-share price tag would be more than reasonable for a fellow retailer that could eliminate overhead at Whole Foods, Short said, while adding that very few companies could outbid Amazon.
The firm rates AMZN Overweight.
Amazon is feared to be planning a bloodbath at Whole Foods. According to Kantar Retail, online sales accounted for only 2.0% of the more than $700.0 billion US (SPY) grocery sector past year.
Amazon, which is now focused on food delivery following the Whole Foods deal, could leverage GrubHub's delivery infrastructure in its grocery-delivery efforts, the analyst noted.
Amazon may be seeking to make the high-end grocer more competitive with Walmart and other mass-market retailers, the New York Post reports.
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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.
"I think there's the argument that Amazon acquired Whole Foods for free", he said.
The acquisition of the two companies means Amazon can vertically integrate a business it has dabbled in since 2007, when it first offered grocery delivery in Mercer Island, Wash. Some Whole Foods fans may oppose the move as they would rather buy produce from a brick and mortar location than a website.
Here's more of what he had to say and how the deal came into being, from the US Securities and Exchange Commission transcript of his address.
Albertsons Companies Inc., the nation's No. 2 grocery-chain behind Kroger Co., began talking to Whole Foods earlier this year, after activist investor Jana Partners LLC began a campaign in February urging Whole Foods to sell. It remains to be seen what Amazon's growth plans will be for Whole Foods.
The Whole Foods chief said Amazon's technology will help the grocer transform from "class dunce" into "valedictorian". And we will be, I hope, as excited as I am today. Shoppers could pick up their purchases at a Whole Foods store near them the same way they're doing under the AmazonFresh Pickup program.
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