Amazon to buy Whole Foods in $13.7bn deal
The move to acquire Whole Foods is the latest step into the grocery retail sector by Amazon.
E-commerce giant Amazon has announced a $13.7bn (€12.3bn) deal to buy Whole Foods, the American supermarket chain.
Founded in Texas in 1978, Whole Foods operates 460 stores across the US, Canada and UK.
With sales in the region of $16bn last year, Whole Foods is the 30th largest chain in the US, offering consumers “natural and organic” produce sourced from local areas.
The upmarket retail chain has been hugely popular, with wealthier consumers willing to spend more on food. But after years of phenomenal market share and sales growth, Whole Foods business model has been under pressure in recent years due to more intense competition.
Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive of Amazon, said that “millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy”.
Latest step into grocery
The Whole Foods acquisition marks the latest move by Amazon into the grocery retail space.
The company launched a new grab-and-go grocery store format called Amazon Go last December, which operates with no tills or checkout lines.
Instead, customers simply scan their smartphone when entering the store, collect whatever items they need and simply leave the store with a final bill deducted from their credit card.