Early this morning, when we finally stopped hitting the snooze button on our alarms and rolled out of bed, we were met with some shocking news about Whole Foods Market. CNBC reports that Amazon plans to acquire the grocery chain for $42 a share. The deal is valued at a whopping $13.7 billion. And we thought we paid a lot for our groceries.
Amazon has been interested in expanding its grocery business for some time, according to CNBC, which makes sense seeing as there has been quite a bit of growth with grocery delivery services like Fresh Direct in the past few years. In the fall, we reported that Amazon Fresh was planning to expand its offerings to brick-and-mortar locations. Additionally, Whole Foods has been in business news quite a bit recently because investors have been suggesting the market merge with another grocer due to performance. So, this seems like a good solution for both companies. The deal will most likely close later this year, but according to The New York Times, Whole Foods shareholders must first approve it. It also requires regulatory approval.
As of right now, it doesn’t seem like we as consumers will see many obvious changes. The stores will still operate under the Whole Foods brand. Still, an online retailer taking over one of the most prominent brick and mortar grocery chains in America is huge news and has us all wondering if this is the end of grocery stores as we know it. Will we soon have our organic berries delivered to our door by drone? We’ll have to wait and see.
Whole Foods CEO John Mackey released a statement after the news was announced, and he said, “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.”
This is a developing story, and we will continue to update this piece with details as they unfold.