Whole Foods CEO calls deal with Amazon ‘whirlwind courtship’

June 25 03:29 2017

“They put the customer first in everything they do and think backwards”.

According to Deutsche Bank analyst Paul Trussell, “The Whole Foods Market acquisition represents a game changer with Costco’s competitive moat in grocery under greater threat while its digital platform lags peers, putting membership renewal at risk for decline”. “I think we’re gonna see a lotta technology”.

The online retail giant’s surprise acquisition of Whole Foods comes at a time when Amazon has been inserting itself into the grocery market, and Whole Foods had been cutting prices.

Amazon will scoop up more than 400 Whole Foods stores across the country, instantly making them a major player in the grocery industry.

What exactly might these innovations be?

In December of 2016, Amazon revealed a high tech grocery concept called Amazon Go, that would offer prepared foods and popular grocery items in a zero-fuss setting. Other deals could follow the Amazon-Whole Foods announcement, with Credit Suisse analysts saying that mergers represent “the path to survival”.

The line, according to the transcript, garnered laughter from employees in the room.

Jeff Wilke, a top executive who leads Amazon’s consumer business, also was at the town hall and echoed the idea that his company doesn’t plan to undercut Whole Foods’ quality standards. It’s gonna be an fantastic team for our team member base. “Sometimes, our company’s gone a little bit too much team member focus at the expense of our customers“, Mackey said. He noted that Amazon was known for its innovation. For Amazon, Whole Foods is a “sustainably sourced guinea pig”, as Manjoo calls it.

“We could have talked for 10 hours”, he said. She raised her price target on the company to $48 – almost 15 percent higher than Amazon’s bid. “I have purchased from Amazon for five years”.

Whole Foods also might draw a rival offer from one or more large private-equity firms because “there’s a tidal wave of money that’s sloshing around” in that industry, said Eric Schiffer, chief executive of the Patriarch Organization, a private-equity firm that isn’t involved with Whole Foods. “That’s a very important cultural value”, he said.

Whole Foods used to be one of the leaders in organic and natural foods, but other chains have increased the availability of those products.

Online shopping has been taking over the retail sector for some time, but the recent announcement that online shopping giant Amazon has bought USA specialty grocery store Whole Foods still came as a shock.

Adrienne Anderson, at a Whole Foods in Savannah, Georgia, says she shops at Whole Foods nearly exclusively for meat and fresh produce “because of the quality and selection” and because fruits and vegetables are locally sourced.

What the Amazon-Whole Foods Deal Means for Your Grocery Bill

Whole Foods CEO calls deal with Amazon ‘whirlwind courtship’
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