Update: In June, it was announced that Amazon would acquire Whole Foods Market in a $13.7 billion deal, and now, two months later, Whole Foods and Amazon customers are about to start seeing changes to their grocery shopping experiences as a result. And some of those changes include cheaper groceries. Amazon announced today, that it would begin lowering Whole Foods' prices as soon as Monday, which is the day the acquisition deal closes. Whole Foods' private-label brands including 365 Everyday Value are also expected to soon be available for order on Amazon.
Customers may also start seeing Amazon Lockers at certain locations of the grocery store, which will provide a place to pick up and return Amazon orders. Finally, the e-commerce company says it will eventually roll out a special discount and benefits program at Whole Foods for Amazon Prime members. So, if you're not already a Prime member, this acquisition might be just the thing to convince you to join.
While the statement covered many unanswered questions from the June announcement, we still have a lot of questions. What does this mean for Amazon's subscription meal delivery service? Will checkouts at Whole Foods eventually go digital like Amazon's test grocery stores? Will the future of grocery shopping be changed forever? For now, all we can do is wait and see — and rejoice that in the meantime we'll be paying less for organic avocados.
This story was originally published on June 16, 2017.
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.