In an announcement that has jolted the shares of other grocers, Amazon will acquire Whole Foods for $42 per share, all-cash, at a value of approximately $13.7 billion.
In 2016 alone, Whole Foods had sales of $16 billion across its more than 460 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The deal on the surface seems valuable for stakeholders in both companies.
The buy marks Amazon’s largest acquisition to-date. Earlier this week rumors were swelling that Amazon had its sights on acquiring messaging technology company Slack, turns out it was Whole Foods that would be first.
According to Foodbeast “Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. “Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for nearly four decades – they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue.”
However, it does seem that there might be a few big changes according to Economic Times, Amazon could try to use automation and data analysis to draw more customers to stores while helping Whole Foods cut costs and perhaps prices. Meanwhile, the more than 460 Whole Foods stores in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. could be turned into distribution hubs – not just for delivering groceries, but also as pickup centers for online orders. Sounds exciting!