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Retailers quaking as Amazon embraces bricks and mortar

20 Juin 2017

The transaction is subject to approval by Whole Foods Market's shareholders, regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, but the parties expect to close the transaction in the second half of 2017, it added.

"Make no mistake, Walmart under no circumstances can lose the grocery wars to Amazon", said Brittain Ladd, a strategy and supply chain consultant who formerly worked with Amazon on its grocery business.

The grocery store business has been rapidly changing, but today that change just might have gone into overdrive. NPR's Alina Selyukh reports. It has four "365 by Whole Foods Market" stores that are cheaper to build and operate than a traditional location and offer lower-priced items aimed at younger shoppers.

CHRIS DORSEY: Higher-end foods, locally sourced, organic, vegetarian, vegan-friendly. While both companies aren't headquartered here - check out Austin Inno for the deal's impact on Whole Foods' home base - the deal is certainly going to have an impact here and everywhere else across the country, if only due to their collective reach. The store was his baby, and they'd have to, quote, "knock daddy out to take it over".

The Austin Chamber of Commerce sent Fox 7 a statement saying in part: "It's great to hear that Whole Foods, an iconic homegrown company, will remain an integral part of our local community".

JOHN MACKEY: We do have shareholder activists that are trying to put pressure on management. "They want prepared foods, they want ready-to-eat foods, something I can heat and eat", Johnson said. "They're not really competitors". They're mostly about their own short-term financial interests. "It is a tsunami that will shake up and change grocery retailing".

Americans have been slowly moving toward online grocery shopping. But competition with other organic grocery stores has become pretty stiff in recent years. He's got professional respect for Amazon for how efficiently and successfully it runs its business.

Belpointe Chief Strategist David Nelson told CNBC that the acquisition of Whole Foods will give Amazon.com, Inc. At least, I do! The Whole Foods purchase would let it expand to many more. The deal will grant Amazon with control over more than 400 stores, integrating the stores with technology.

After the announcement, Amazon's shares went up more than two percent and Whole Foods Market shares went up by about 28%. Customers are assigned a personal shopper who scours the aisles, purchases and delivers items from retailers like Whole Foods.

SAM BERNSTEIN: I don't know.

Stock rates of supermarkets, food producers, processing companies, retailers, and shopping malls lost over U.S.$35 billion nearly immediately after the news was released, indicating the potential effect this could have on the various industries.

Retailers quaking as Amazon embraces bricks and mortar