Martedì, 23 Ottobre, 2018

What the Amazon-Whole Foods Deal Means for Your Grocery Bill

Sveva Terracina | 22 Giugno, 2017, 10:52

Charging $6 for "asparagus water" is no one's idea of putting the customer first. We haven't heard anything from Amazon about whether this is true. I think we're gonna see a lotta technology.

At the all-hands meeting, Mackey said that Amazon may launch other supermarket brands with lower standards and prices once the companies complete their merger.

Whole Foods has more than 460 brick-and-mortar stores, which will boost Amazon's physical store presence in the battle for consumer food budgets.

What exactly might these innovations be? In December, the tech giant unveiled plans for futuristic grocery stores that don't staff cashiers.

Analysts say there's no reason to think Amazon's deal with Whole Foods will be limited to groceries.

Amazon's offer of $13.7 billion, representing a multiple of 10 times earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization, could possibly be raised to 11 or 12 times, according to Kevin Dreyer, co-chief investment officer at Gabelli Funds, which holds Whole Foods shares.

But Amazon's pending acquisition of Whole Foods isn't just about the grocery market. "Sometimes, our company's gone a little bit too much team member focus at the expense of our customers", Mackey said.

Amazon, like Wal-Mart, is known for using massive scale to offer low prices on everything from shoes and shirts to electronics and books.

Wedbush argued that Grubhub would be a nice compliment to Whole Foods because the food ordering company has a similar geographic overlap and similar customer and diner demographics.

"All stores are not going away, it's just a matter of finding the store/online equilibrium", Credit Suisse analysts said in a note.

And there's no shortage of speculation about the ways the company could innovate and leverage Whole Foods locations to further its interests.

The transaction isn't expected to close until the second half of the year, and Whole Foods shares soared 29 percent to $42.68 Friday - more than the $42 deal price, indicating investors anticipate another bidder could emerge.

"Very few entities could outbid" Amazon, Short said. "The company didn't say which banner, Whole Foods Market or 365 by Whole Foods, would lead that growth", Michelle Grant, head of retailing at Euromonitor, wrote to Retail Dive in an email.

He also added that Amazon is "not stupid enough" to mess with Whole Foods' high food-quality standards, but did hint at the possibility that "over time, there could be other formats that evolve that ... wouldn't be to our standards".

Adrienne Anderson, at a Whole Foods in Savannah, Georgia, says she shops at Whole Foods nearly exclusively for meat and fresh produce "because of the quality and selection" and because fruits and vegetables are locally sourced.


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