Amazon Announces Plan To Buy Whole Foods For $13.7 Billion

Armed with giant warehouses, shopper data, the latest technology and almost endless funds - and now with Whole Foods' hundreds of physical stores - Amazon is set to reshape a US$800 billion grocery market that is already changing rapidly.

They have indicated that they do not plan to automate cashier jobs in the stores, .

The move comes at a challenging time for grocers.

But it was Whole Foods that fell behind as shoppers found alternatives to the organic and natural foods it helped popularize since its founding in 1978.

RICH TARRANT: Consumer purchases in a grocery space is, you know, $600-billion industry that has yet to be massively disrupted by online. "That is the reality today at Amazon, and it will no doubt become the reality at Whole Foods", said UFCW President Marc Perrone in an email.

"We are always concerned when there is some loss of brick-and-mortar stores out there", Mullins said after just hearing of the news early Friday.

On the same day that Amazon made their big acquisition, their main competition Walmart also announced that they were buying Bonobos, a mostly online company that sells menswear. "If shoppers are going to allow a company, a retailer, to pick their meat, their produce and their seafood, Whole Foods is probably at the top of the list of retailers with the best reputation across the country".

Amazon would also look to change Whole Foods' inventory, introducing its own private-label products to replace items deemed too expensive to have mass appeal, the person with knowledge of the matter said.

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Stock prices for some of the nation's largest retailers plummeted Friday.

These three have begun offering some of what Whole Foods offers, forcing the supermarket chain to cut prices.

Whole Foods will continue to operate stores under its brand and will continue to be led by co-founder and chief executive John Mackey, the companies said.

The Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) deal to buy Whole Foods Market Inc. However, this should be regarded as mere formality as the deal is expected to go ahead without any hitch.

Almost $1.5T: Amount spent by Americans on food in a year. Whole Foods shares were up just over 27% to the $US42.00 per share acquisition price. The investment firm Jana Partners said in April that it had built up an ownership stake in Whole Foods because it saw ways to address its "chronic underperformance for shareholders".

Amazon's shares were up 3 percent at $993.40, adding more than $14 billion to its market capitalization.

Including his Amazon stock, his stake in the aerospace company Blue Origin and other assets, Bezos is worth about $84.7 billion, according to Bloomberg, making him the second-richest person in the world.

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