Announced this morning, Amazon will be purchasing Whole Foods for $13.7 billion; around $42 a share. This is considered to be a premium factoring in Whole Foods' current stock price, closing last night at $33.
In Amazon's recent press release, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos states:
“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy. Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customer for nearly four decades – they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue.”
So what does this mean for grocery and retail? While Amazon is and always has been serious about shopping, its efforts in reaching out to brick-and-mortar stores have been pretty small-scale besides testing its own store. Purchasing Whole Foods completely turns this around. If this acquisition goes through, Amazon will have a serious presence in grocery with an already established reputation for mindfully shelving brands, with potential to expand in the future.