Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods already impacting grocery industry

Amazon is once again shaking up the retail sector with the announcement Friday it will acquire upscale U.S. grocer Whole Foods Market known for its pricey organic options in a deal that underscores the online giant's growing influence in the econo

The deal would give Amazon control of 430-plus U.S. Whole Foods stores, almost all of which are in neighborhoods more affluent and younger than America as a whole, noted David Portalatin, the NPD Group's vice president of food industry analysis.

Among those brick-and-mortar experiments was a cashless payment system.

The grocer will continue to operate stores under the Whole Foods Market brand, and Mackey will remain CEO, the companies said.

Completion of the transaction is subject to approval and the parties expect to close the transaction during the second half of 2017.

With this strategy, Amazon is planning to make the prices competitive and attract "more low- and middle-income shoppers" to its retail stores, which may still be located in posh localities. "Amazon is the master at keeping as much margin as possible". Increasingly, we'll be doing everything from home.

About 9.7 billion shares changed hands in USA exchanges, well above the 6.8 billion daily average over the last 20 sessions. But if customers know that what they are getting is the same as what they'd get at the local store, they are more likely to try it out.

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Walmart has been trying to address some of those online threats, pushing harder into online to build on its strength in its stores and groceries. But there have been challenges. Jana had pushed to shake up Whole Foods' board of directors, among other changes. At least, I do! Amazon's warehouses, on the other hand, do use these robots to keep things moving. And figuring out how to get it to your front door is the ultimate inconvenience for consumers. Whole Foods whose fleet of stores now numbers more than 430 locations has found it hard to attract more mainstream consumers as Walmart and other large chains have stepped up their sales of natural and organic products. This deal gives Amazon a major foothold in that space. It's easy to imagine that Amazon might later decide to integrate this technology from its warehouses to its Amazon Go shops, and probably Whole Foods stores, too.

Especially among millennials, is that right?

"Maybe feels hyperbolic but I think it could be one of the biggest acquisitions in the last 20 years in terms of the ability to kind of bring together technological innovation and this sort of physical footprint that Whole Foods has", Bunch said.

Yes. That's an extraordinary penetration for a supermarket chain with just 431 stores.

Many deals don't receive an appropriate level of regulatory scrutiny.

As sales have slumped, Whole Foods executives have tried to highlight what distinguishes it from rivals. Will we just be stopping by to pick up what we ordered online?

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