Whole Foods CEO literally 'dreamed' about Amazon merger

They may also need to seek innovative partners of their own.

Stock prices for grocery sellers like Costco, Target, and Kroger have tanked since word broke of Amazon's acquisition, and some Whole Foods loyalists have bashed the deal as a sellout that could destroy a retail brand they love. And Whole Foods shares climbed 29 percent to $42.68 Friday - more than the $42 deal price - indicating investors expect another bidder may emerge.

Amazon hopes that the move will help differentiate Whole Foods from other grocers.

"Many will do anything to either make this acquisition more costly for Amazon, or prevent the asset from landing in Amazon's lap", Short wrote in a note to clients.

Amazon, which is now focused on food delivery following the Whole Foods deal, could leverage GrubHub's delivery infrastructure in its grocery-delivery efforts, the analyst noted. "And I said, 'I know".

Walmart is also expanding its online grocery business by offering curbside pickups for online orders and opening trial drive-up pickup kiosks.

Elise Bauer, a food blogger in Sacramento, California, lives about five minutes from a Whole Foods store and shops there several times a week. Some chains have classical musicians play as shoppers wander from wine sections to sushi stations or meet friends for a bite.

But other experts see advantages to buying Whole Foods beyond just its gourmet and organic food, and access to the affluent customers who favor it. Walmart, which has the largest share of the USA grocery market, is ramping up its grocery services as a way to fuel online sales. By acquiring Whole Foods, Amazon now owns a familiar name with a lot of value in the market. John Hildreth, a 38-year-old restaurant manager, visits the store about once a week, mostly for its produce.


"Our culture is going to evolve", Mackey said.

Maintaining the right balance will be critical. Kroger has almost 2,800 stores that operate under a variety of names.

"It's too early to talk about how benefits and compensation may synch up", Mackey said of the topic, after jesting that Whole Foods employees will get free Amazon devices on merger day. Mackey told employees that his company and Amazon are "engaged", like a couple, but still waiting until their transaction gets regulatory approval. She also praised the way Shipt allows customers to schedule delivery times to make sure they'll be home when groceries arrive. About a year and a half ago, I dreamed that we merged with Amazon. Amazon's grocery efforts have been largely focused on the United States thus far, but it has grocery delivery operations in the UK and partnerships with chains like Morrisons.

"Amazon could use this retail footprint for consumers to pick up prescriptions". Several hundred grocery chains, convenience stores, dollars stores as well as mom and pop stores account for the rest.

Amazon is expected to be disruptive to all retailers when it enters Australia, and could lead to a faster push in food delivery and lower prices.

Whole Foods used to be one of the leaders in organic and natural foods, but other chains have increased the availability of those products. Smaller regional players that don't have the resources to compete would be at a big disadvantage.

And Amazon has plenty to learn about bricks-and-mortar grocery.

Walmart is the nation's largest seller of groceries with category sales of $170 billion past year, and retail giant has found that the category is key to driving store visits and customer loyalty.

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