In a move that has taken the whole industry by surprise, online retailer, Amazon, is acquiring Whole Foods Market for a staggering $13.7 billion. The online retailer is seeking the supermarket chain for an all-cash transaction valued at $42 per share.
Jeff Bezos, the founder/CEO of Amazon, claimed that the acquisition was a way to let the 37-year-old chain continue "satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers". By contrast, the co-founder/CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, described the transaction as a means to "maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders".
Interestingly, not much will change in the Texas-based establishment, should the deal come to pass. Along with the brand name being maintained, Mackey will remain the CEO, and Austin shall continue to be the establishment's headquarters.
This is not to say, however, that the deal is done as the chain still requires "approval by Whole Foods Market's shareholders, regulatory approvals, and other customary closing conditions."
It will be interesting to see how this purchase fits into Amazon's intentions to penetrate the physical markets and whether its Go stores will be a part of it. Recent patents suggest that the tech giant is actively working towards making its retail store experience more pleasant for the customers. The sale is expected to complete by the second half of 2017.