Last Friday, when Amazon announced the acquisition, shares of Walmart as well as Target, Kroger, and Costco all tumbled.
"Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for almost four decades, they're doing an fantastic job and we want that to continue", said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and chief executive officer, of the supermarket that was founded in Austin in 1978.
Whole Foods shares were trading just above that level on Friday, as investors saw negligible regulatory risk to the deal closing.
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JPMorgan analyst Doug Anmuth believes that the buyout would allow Amazon to be more innovative in delivering the customer buying experience in Whole Foods stores.
Now that Amazon is in the brick-and-mortar business selling books and groceries, who knows where it will set its sights next?
But despite the Whole Foods acquisition and, by extension, the potential technology Amazon could implement in brick-and-mortar outlets, the company said it now has no plans to automate the jobs of cashiers in Whole Foods stores after the acquisition.
The purchase in one fell swoop gives Amazon, which until now has operated nearly entirely on the internet, a big presence in the brick-and-mortar world on Main Street, with more than 450 stores in the US, Canada and Britain.
At least one customer was concerned that an Amazon purchase would further distance Whole Foods from its roots as a purveyor of premium, organic and specialty foods.
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Whole Foods, known for its selection of organic foods, has one store in the Santa Clarita Valley, in the Valencia Crossroads shopping center on Valencia Blvd. He also added that "If Walmart loses the grocery battle to Amazon, they have no chance of ever dethroning Amazon as the largest e-commerce player in the world". "That is the reality today at Amazon, and it will no doubt become the reality at Whole Foods", said UFCW President Marc Perrone in an email.
Amazon could also get a better picture of customers by marrying data from Amazon and Whole Foods' loyalty programs. In the United Kingdom specifically, Amazon and Morrisons signed a deal a year ago. Whole Foods already has a lot of in-store dining and lots of prepared foods. Shoppers simply pick the items they want off the shelves and leave the store.
About 450: Number of Whole Foods stores across the country.
Whole Foods customers who are Amazon Prime members, meanwhile, could get discounts on certain products.
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