Amazon stumps up nearly $US14B for Whole Foods Market

The stock prices of large food retail chains, such as Costco, tumbled a bit.

Though Amazon has opened a few physical bookstores, "this is their first entry into a scale brick-and-mortar type of business", Hardy said.

While the deal is still to be executed, Whole Foods has pointed out that the brand name would remain the same in the stores, headquarters will remain in Austin and John Mackey will stay on as CEO. "This gets Amazon straight up the curve with a credible, albeit upmarket, range", Bernstein said in the research note.

The companies expect the deal to close by the end of 2017, subject to approval by Whole Foods Market's shareholders and regulators.

The online giant previous year declared its plans to open a physical grocery store called Amazon Go, a market without cashiers where consumers would be automatically charged based on the items they placed into their shopping bags. "This will be a good deal for consumers". They're doing an incredible job and we want that to continue".

The growth of online grocery shopping has faced barriers. But there have been challenges.

The move also makes a lot of sense given the weapon Amazon unveiled back in March: AmazonFresh Pickup. Has that been a problem for Amazon?

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Amazon has been trying to gain a foothold in the grocery industry for ten years since it launched Amazon Fresh. The shopper's Amazon account gets automatically charged. "This deal gives them credibility with consumers and a major foothold in that space".

Amazon's announcement of buying Whole Foods on Friday could eventually change the grocery industry.

Especially among millennials, is that right?

Here's a look at shares of Amazon and Whole Foods over the past year.

Yes. That's an extraordinary penetration for a supermarket chain with just 431 stores. The deal will grant Amazon with control over more than 400 stores, integrating the stores with technology. Whole Foods itself had launched an offshoot chain named after its "365" private label brand in a nod to the popularity of no-frills chains. Will we just be stopping by to pick up what we ordered online? "I don't think we'd be interested". The stores will evolve to become more experiential. The acquisition price implies a trailing 12-month price-to-earnings multiple for Whole Foods of 31 times, versus a 14.4 average for the S&P 500 Food Retail index.

Among those brick-and-mortar experiments was a cashless payment system.

Alina Gura of Newington who was visiting the Whole Foods store with her almost two-year-old daughter, said she appreciates the quality of the food, particularly its organic products. The investment firm Jana Partners said in April that it had built up an ownership stake in Whole Foods because it saw ways to address its "chronic underperformance for shareholders".

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