Amazon buying Whole Foods, making strong move into groceries

A crowded local grocery market became more interesting - and probably more competitive - as online retail powerhouse Amazon announced Friday that it will buy organic foods specialist Whole Foods, which now has stores in Washington Twp., Mason and Cincinnati.

"I think that they are a very profit-driven company, so there might be some streamlining as far as labour", said Sasha Hardin, 28, of the Mount Pleasant store, who has been with Whole Foods for 6-1/2 years. Whole Foods could also become "Whole Foods by Amazon", or some other derivative.

Among those brick-and-mortar experiments was a cashless payment system.

Amazon could cut costs if the technology gets good enough to deploy at Whole Foods locations.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS.N and Bank of America Corp BAC.N advised Amazon on the Whole Foods deal and provided bridge financing, while Evercore Partners Inc EVR.N advised Whole Foods.

CO: What does it mean for people in smaller centres, in rural communities, where they have a great of difficulty getting access to retail like this?

Amazon, meanwhile, has been expanding its reach in goods, services, entertainment - and groceries. They will stay in local neighborhoods and learn about history, culture, education, business and politics through activities and meetings with community leaders. Whole Foods shares were trading just above that level on Friday, as investors saw negligible regulatory risk to the deal closing. That Amazon Go stores are not available to the public yet. Jana had pushed to shake up Whole Foods' board of directors, among other changes. Whole Foods traded in the mid-$30 range for May and the first part of June.

"Everyone's writing about the impact the Whole Foods deal could have on the Target or Kroger types", Roswech said, "but really what is the impact this has on brands, which are in a position to be disintermediated from that retail position that's defined the past century or so for their products?" "But they had to, and now you don't anymore".

"Retweet if you've also spent $13 billion at Whole Foods", quipped the comedian Chelsea Handler.




Groceries are already a fiercely competitive business, with low-priced rivals like Aldi putting pressure on traditional supermarket chains and another discounter, Lidl, opening its first USA stores just this week.

The company's stock price, which had peaked at $65.24 in October 2013, closed Thursday at $33.06 on the Nasdaq exchange.

- Kroger. The grocery store chain declined $2.27, or 9.2 percent, to $22.29.

As of September 2016, Whole Foods' balance sheet said the company was carrying slightly more than $1 billion in long-term debt, up substantially from $62 million a year earlier, according to the SEC filings.

Almost $1.5T: Amount spent by Americans on food in a year. Whole Foods CEO John Mackey had lambasted the hedge fund as "greedy bastards."

Completion of the transaction is subject to approval and the parties expect to close the transaction during the second half of 2017.

"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 Mackey in the press release, issued jointly by the two companies.

At the close, shares of Loblaw (TSX:L) tumbled $2.70 or 3.58 per cent to $72.79, while Metro (TSX:MRU) shed $1.29 or 2.9 per cent to $43.16.

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