The acquisition is expected to close towards the end of the second quarter or the beginning of the third quarter of Wal-Mart's fiscal year ending January 2018, the company said.
Inc. will pay $42 per share of Whole Foods Market Inc. "Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for almost four decades - they're doing an incredible job and we want that to continue".
Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods also brings disruption to the $700 billion us grocery sector, a traditional area of retailing that stands on the precipice of a ferocious price war.
Some customers said they believe Whole Foods shoppers will quickly adapt if Amazon does widen the online grocery shopping experience.
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Whole Foods shares were trading just above that level on Friday, as investors saw negligible regulatory risk to the deal closing.
On Friday, Whole Foods stock closed up 9.62 to 42.68 per share, a 29.1 percent jump.
Meanwhile, Whole Foods stock soared on the news, jumping almost 30 percent by mid-morning.
Grocery stores, which have low profit margins, have also been competing more intensely when it comes to price, especially of organic and natural foods. It implies a trailing 12-month price-to-earnings multiple for Whole Foods of 31 times, versus a 14.4 average for the S&P 500 Food Retail index. It also had announced a board shake-up and cost-cutting plan amid pressure from activist investor Jana Partners.
Marc Perrone, head of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which represents millions of grocery workers, said that Amazon's "brutal vision for retail is one where automation replaces good jobs".
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Even so, the bigger picture here is that Amazon sees value in Whole Foods' real estate, which means Amazon is more likely interested in exploiting all of its locations to deliver all kinds of items more quickly to its customers.
Whole Foods will use "Amazon's superior inventory management, delivery management, better management of the customer database, and speed of service to checkout". And Walmart shares dropped more than 6 percent to $74.23 a share.
Courtney Hiddeman and her family live right down the street from the Whole Foods "world headquarters" on Bowie Street in Austin. This is an important question because those fees combined may account for more revenue on an order than the commission paid by Whole Foods.
NEW YORK (AP) Can Amazon, the company that persuaded people to buy ever more items online, win enough of them over to having their fresh groceries arrive in an Amazon box?
Amazon, started in Seattle in 1994 by Bezos, a former hedge fund manager, has grown into the world's biggest diversified online retailer, with a market capitalization of almost $500 billion.
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