Whole Foods now has 430 stories, but after the acquisition, they will have 350 million stores because they will be on every desktop, Feinberg says. It operates approximately 456 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. It announced Friday that it's buying online men's clothing retailer Bonobos for $310 million, following a string of online acquisitions such as ModCloth and Moosejaw.
Grocery shopping - you either love it or hate it.
Amazon, meanwhile, has been expanding its reach in goods, services, and entertainment.
Its AmazonFresh delivery service, which has been slow to take off, accounting for 0.8% of all grocery purchases past year.
In Whole Foods, it is acquiring a company that has recently come under pressure from investors for its lagging performance.
Groceries are already a fiercely competitive business, with low-priced rivals like Aldi putting pressure on traditional supermarket chains and another discounter, Lidl, opening its first USA stores just this week. Whole Foods' headquarters will still be in Austin.
The Whole Foods deal is expected to close in the second half of 2017, pending shareholder and regulatory approvals.
"This is an natural disaster rattling through the grocery sector as well as the retail world", said Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst for Bankrate.com. According to the analyst, the grocery industry remains one of the "largest and most under-penetrated markets" for the e-commerce giant. Amazon, which for years has been testing new technology and innovations in quiet corners, would now have a network of physical locations to test and implement those ideas. In order for Amazon to get the volume growth they are looking for, fresh foods has to be part of the equation. Gartner retail analyst Robert Hetu said Amazon could bring pieces of that to Whole Foods to further cut costs.
Johnson, a consultant for the food industry, says other companies have to compete to stay alive.
For now, though, Whole Foods cashiers and other employees can take a sigh of relief.
One of those bankers, David Eisman, moved from San Francisco to Seattle to help lead a small team tasked with strengthening ties with the city's biggest companies, including Amazon, Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) and Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O). They demanded changes. Founder and CEO John Mackey told Texas Monthly that they were greedy bastards.
"This will definitely make the market more competitive", she added. Whole Foods Market employs almost 87,000 people. "Whole Foods' online grocery channel is operated by Instacart, which will likely not be the case for long if the acquisition is approved".
SELYUKH: Outside the Whole Foods in Northeast Washington, the shoppers were broadly pleased with the news - two trusted brands coming together, presumably planning to offer something high-quality and convenient - but then a big-picture step back from Sam Bernstein. "They're doing an wonderful job and we want that to continue". Instacart allows some retail partners to take small investments in the company, and Whole Foods owns less than 1%, the source said.
Dylan: But there's definitely a lot more going on here than the fact that Whole Foods has 30 locations in MA.