Amazon has made its most aggressive move yet toward brick-and-mortar by purchasing premium service grocer Whole Foods Market.
The move announced today amplifies the competitiveness between Amazon and Walmart, which has its own chain of small neighborhood grocery stores as well as its own grocery departments within Walmart supercenter locations.
“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO, said in an announcement released by Amazon.
“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.”
Prior to the announcement of the acquisition agreement, which is an all-cash transaction valuing Whole Foods Market at $42 per share, Amazon has been operating its own grocery delivery service, AmazonFresh, and has been experimenting with a model that allows website users to order groceries online then pick them up locally.
Whole Foods stores will retain the brand name and operate as a separate entity of Amazon. As part of the deal, Whole Foods co-founder and CEO John Mackey will stay on board and run operations from its headquarters in Austin, Texas.
“This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers,” Mackey said in the Amazon announcement.
Ryan Daniel Moran, founder and CEO of Capitalism.com, hosted Mackey at the Freedom Fast Lane Live conference last year (see clip below).
John Mackey of Whole Foods: Our Responsibility as Entrepreneurs
John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods Market, explains why we need less government in our lives, and more entrepreneurs creating valuable solutions to the world's problems. #BeTheChange
Posted by Capitalism.com on Monday, May 1, 2017
In response to the acquisition announcement, Moran said he believes it means "great things" for both consumable brands and Amazon sellers.
"The food industry is ripe for changes, and I expect that this means that new products will enter the marketplace faster and have a more predictable path to profitability. We need more innovation in the food and consumable space, and the merger of Whole Foods should give entrepreneurs a clear way to get their products in front of customers. It's a great time to be in the consumable space and to be an Amazon seller, which is why we teach entrepreneurs to use Amazon as the foundation of building a brand."
We at Capitalism.com believe the best way to create financial freedom is by building a business and investing the profits. Businesses, and the profits generated from them, not only help individuals become financially independent but also enable them to develop innovative technologies and support causes that solve big problems in the world.
The acquisition announcement comes in the wake of two important moves by Amazon and its founder Bezos – one, that Amazon has secured a patent for technology that blocks grocery store shoppers from comparing prices while in store; and two, Bezos requesting feedback via Twitter for advice on how to immediately support humanitarian causes.
Request for ideas… pic.twitter.com/j6D68mhseL
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) June 15, 2017
The acquisition is expected to close pending approval of Whole Foods Market shareholders, as well as regulatory approvals and closing conditions that are customary with such deals.
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