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Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods already impacting grocery industry

20 June 2017

Whole Foods, founded in 1978, has more than 460 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, employs 87,000 people and is the leading natural and organic foods supermarket.

John Meyer, a portfolio and security analyst, said a "price war" between brick and mortar stores is already occurring.

This deal points towards Amazon's big focus on the grocery business, especially in the US. On Friday, WalMart announced it is buying men's online clothing retailer Bonobos for $310 million.

Expanding into the grocery market would not only bring profits to Amazon but a room for great expansion. "If shoppers are going to allow a company, a retailer, to pick their meat, their produce and their seafood, Whole Foods is probably at the top of the list of retailers with the best reputation across the country". Note, though, that one of its investors as well as partners is Whole Foods, either shaping Amazon to be a shareholder or Instacart as an acquisition target itself. The Whole Foods purchase would let it expand to many more. Amazon and Whole Foods expect to close the deal during the second half of 2017.

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For traditional grocers, like Kroger, this purchase makes the market even more price-competitive, she added. The deal will grant Amazon with control over more than 400 stores, integrating the stores with technology. And shoppers may be skittish about having Amazon take over one more element of their shopping experience.

"The ramifications for all of retail are seismic - not just retailers that sell grocery, but for everyone", Chuck Grom of Gordon Haskett said.

Amazon is buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, and that could be bad news for Instacart.

"I don't want to lose what Whole Foods is now", said Ein.

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The Austin Chamber of Commerce sent Fox 7 a statement saying in part: "It's great to hear that Whole Foods, an iconic homegrown company, will remain an integral part of our local community".

"This deal should leave no doubt that Amazon is deadly serious about dominating all aspects of retail", said Mr Paul Cuatrecasas, chief executive of Aquaa Partners, a London-based investment banking firm, in an e-mail.

The deal comes a month after Whole Foods announced a board shake-up and cost-cutting plan amid falling sales. The store uses sensors to track items as shoppers put them into baskets or return them to the shelf. But Whole Foods has lost market share to rivals Kroger Co, Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Costco Wholesale Corp and others that have elbowed into the natural and organic segment Whole Foods pioneered.

"Instead of deliver to my home, why not just come down here?"

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Carmen Clark, 37, a six-year employee at a store in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, said some workers worry that Amazon-led automation could lead to job cuts. The stores could also showcase gadgets such as Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets.