Amazon began its existence as an online entity that siphoned business away from brick-and-mortar stores, but there’s only so much you can do online. Amazon has been tinkering with more real world services like Prime Now local deliveries and its experimental grocery store in Seattle. Now, Amazon is taking a shortcut to building out its own presence; it’s buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. Coincidentally, that’s about what I spent the last time I went to Whole Foods.
The deal is all cash, valuing the high-end grocery chain at $42 per share, a sizable premium over the last closing value of $33 per share. Amazon expects to complete the acquisition later this year, but it’s not swallowing up the brand. Whole Foods will continue operating, and the current CEO will remain at the helm.
There are more than 400 Whole Foods locations across the US, as well as a handful in Canada and the UK. These stores could be used to augment Amazon’s online grocery and delivery services without the added cost of building new facilities everywhere. Maybe there will even be Whole Foods drone deliveries. Completely organic drones, of course.