Amazon Buying Whole Foods in Bold Move into Brick and Mortar

Amazon will be able to use automation and data analysis to draw more customers to stores while helping Whole Foods cut costs - and perhaps prices - and better tailor its offerings to customers.

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) has struck a deal to acquire Whole Foods Market, Inc.

Amazon said Whole Foods stores will continue operating under that name as a separate unit of the company.

Whole Foods, founded in 1978, is widely credited with helping to make organic food go mainstream. "Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for almost four decades - and they're doing an awesome job and we want that to continue".

The comes deal as Whole Foods has been trying to fend off pressure from shareholders frustrated by a sluggish stock price. The deal values Whole Foods at $42 a share, 27% higher than where the stock was trading Thursday.

Clint Davis covers entertainment and trending news topics for the Scripps National Desk.

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They could also add the grocery selection to Amazon Prime Now, which is Amazon's one or two-hour delivery. "That is the reality today at Amazon, and it will no doubt become the reality at Whole Foods".

In March, Amazon launched a grocery pickup service. While both companies aren't headquartered here - check out Austin Inno for the deal's impact on Whole Foods' home base - the deal is certainly going to have an impact here and everywhere else across the country, if only due to their collective reach. "They're already delivering pre-packaged grocery items". The $13.7 billion deal has, predictably, been a veritable albatross round the necks of Kroger, Costco, and other large supermarkets and retailers.

As sales have slumped, Whole Foods executives have tried to highlight what distinguishes it from rivals.

"People who used to say Amazon couldn't be profitable because they were just a bookstore might want to think before they suggest Amazon can't make money with Whole Foods because it's just a grocery store", Low said. With sales falling, Whole Foods replaces almost half its board members Why do snack companies always change their packaging?

The almost $14 billion deal is the largest purchase in Amazon's history.

Some analysts on Wall Street see the acquisition as the online retailer's big entry into the food business. The parties expect to close the deal during the second half of 2017.

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