Amazon is buying Whole Foods in a deal valued at about $13.7 billion, a stunning move into brick-and-mortar retail that sets the stage for more radical store experimentation and intensified competition with grocery rivals.
The deal unites the online juggernaut with the grocery store chain that fell behind as the organic and natural foods it helped popularize expanded to more locations and shoppers found “good enough” alternatives.
The deal has the possibility to be “transformative,” Moody’s lead retail analyst Charlie O’Shea said in a note, “not just for food retail, but for retail in general.”
The “implications ripple far beyond the food segment, where dominant players like Walmart, Kroger, Costco, and Target now have to look over their shoulders at the Amazon train coming down the tracks,” O’Shea said.
Other retailers, such as Walmart and Costco, are seeing their stocks down between 5% and 15% in reaction to the news.
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