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Amazon Buying Whole Foods? What Small Businesses Can Learn

17 June 2017

News that Amazon bought the high-end grocery store chain for a reported $13.7 billion on Friday left some Americans stunned over the big purchase and others musing about where the largest USA online retailer may be headed next.

Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods ranks as the 11th biggest global retail deal of all time and the fourth largest US retail deal, according to Thomson Reuters.

Already, Whole Foods' competitors' stocks have dropped because of the news. The company will continue to operate stores under its brand name and be run by co-founder and chief executive John Mackey, the companies said.

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The $42 a share offer from Amazon is a 27 percent premium over Whole Foods Market's closing stock price on Thursday. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said, "Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting, and nourishing customers for almost four decades - they're doing an awesome job and we want that to continue". Amazon has become one of the Lehigh Valley's largest employers since it opened a warehouse complex in Breinigsville in 2010.

Who knows? Maybe Amazon will introduced a 21 century version of the grocery delivery boy/girl? Both companies said there will be no layoffs, but did not respond to other questions about Amazon's plans for Whole Foods. "I'm a little baffled by this", said an analyst in 2006. "There's a lot more stuff in markets than there used to be, but the way they manage the business - from logistics to sales - really hasn't changed in half a century".

For Whole Foods, the deal represents a chance to fend off pressure from activists investors frustrated by a sluggish stock price.

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The $13.7 billion deal brings to a head a years-long battle brewing between Amazon, the online darling, and traditional retail powerhouses likes Walmart.

Whole Foods, founded in 1978, is widely credited with helping to make organic food go mainstream. The Bentonville, Ark. -based retailer announced Friday that it had agreed to buy online clothing company Bonobos for $310 million. Considering the present state of Whole Foods Market, it is an excellent deal. The organization will likewise stay situated in Austin, Texas. Online juggernaut Amazon announced Friday, June 16, 2017, that it is buying Whole Foods in a deal valued at about $13.7 billion, including debt. Walmart has boosted its grocery business and private companies like Trader Joe's have also offered tough competition.

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