For Whole Foods workers, fears of robots, drones and culture clash

Amazon has agreed to buy Austin-based organic grocery chain Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion or $42 a share in an all-cash transaction and assume the company’s debt

Amazon and Whole Foods Market, Inc. announced Friday morning that Amazon will buy Whole Foods for roughly $13.7 billion.

Well, not anymore. In one fell swoop, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos has charged into the supermarket business with the US$13.7 billion (S$19 billion) acquisition of Whole Foods last Friday.

Armed with giant warehouses, shopper data, the latest technology and almost endless funds - and now with Whole Foods' hundreds of physical stores - Amazon is set to reshape a US$800 billion grocery market that is already changing rapidly.

"We believe it presents an incredible opportunity to take Whole Foods Market's mission and goal to new levels and will create significant value for our stakeholders - including you, our most loyal customers".

But in February, Whole Foods said it no longer saw the potential for expanding its flagship chain to 1,200 locations, up from about 460 in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

"Whole Foods Market will continue to operate stores under the Whole Foods Market brand and source from trusted vendors and partners around the world", Amazon said in a press release. Amazon also offers grocery shipments elsewhere, but that's tough with perishable foods. And it should be able to bring cost-cutting technologies, such as robots to move inventory around, while the company gets a better picture of customers by marrying data from Amazon and Whole Foods' loyalty programs.

"I think that this takes all of the pressure off Whole Foods and gives Whole Foods the opportunity to revitalise that business and, of course, it stems the criticism from all of these activist investors", said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail in NY.




Stanford University Marketing professor Wesley Hartmann said quality may not slip if the takeover comes to fruition because Amazon is incredibly efficient, while industry analysts have said Whole Foods is not.

Here's a look at some of the big moves in the stock market following news of Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods Market.

The shock that many people felt when looking at their receipts gave Whole Foods the pejorative nickname "Whole Paycheck".

The New York Times says Amazon wants to, or already has created plans to expand its e-commerce business into physical retail. The $42 a share all-cash purchase includes the group's debt.

On Friday, June 16, 2017, online retailer#Amazon announced its plans to purchase #Whole Foods.

ALINA SELYUKH, BYLINE: It's lunch hour, and people are dipping in and out of a Whole Foods store in Washington, D.C. This particular shop has only been open for three months, but the chain's brand has had nearly 40 years to grow. Both Amazon Pantry and Amazon Fresh are services that park the Amazon tanks on the supermarkets' lawns. When they take something off the shelf and put it in their cart, it registers in their account. The stock is up more than 31% so far this year. Costco shares closed down 7.2 percent.

Apparently longtime CEO John Mackey will stay the CEO and the headquarters will stay in Austin.

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