Local NYC Grocers Unhappy with Amazon-Whole Foods Deal

Amazon has bid $42 a share for Whole Foods Market Inc

He didn't use that phrase per se when describing the deal to employees at a town hall on Friday, but he might as well have: If you read the transcript of his remarks, which Whole Foods included yesterday in a new SEC filing, his praise of Amazon sounds more like a man toasting his fiancée at their engagement party.

As Mackey tells it, it all started with a blind date six weeks ago, which was love at first sight.

The online retail giant's surprise acquisition of Whole Foods comes at a time when Amazon has been inserting itself into the grocery market, and Whole Foods had been cutting prices. "I got a great standing O. Trust me, this is gonna be- (LAUGHTER) this is gonna be- this is going to be such a good thing for Whole Foods Market". "Books are lot more homogenous", she said, noting that a hardcover Harry Potter book is the same at Amazon - though Amazon can sell it at a lower price. Both Amazon and Whole Foods are concentrated in the country's major population centers, including California, Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and New York.

Amazon has shed little light on its plans for the chain of stores since it announced the deal.

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) would acquire Whole Foods in an all-cash transaction valued at $13.7B.

"Until death do us part", Mackey said. "I dreamed that we merged with Amazon", he said. (LAUGHTER) And I said, "I know". President Di Di Chan adds, "What makes our solution different is that it works across different formats and is so user-friendly that even my grandmother loves it".

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


According to analysts at Cowen & Co., Amazon, which is expected to be the ninth largest grocery retailer in the US this year thanks to Amazon Fresh, would become the third largest with the acquisition of Whole Foods.

Turner noted that Whole Foods has large store footprints in most of GrubHub's key geographies, including California, Massachusetts, Illinois and NY. This is not- this is not a Tinder relationship.

Amazon is known for driving sales at the expense of profits, Stifel analyst Mark S. Astrachan noted, saying the company will likely maintain that approach as it looks to build market share in groceries.

Mackey said there will be cost-cutting in Whole Foods' future.

Aaron Turner, a Los Angeles-based analyst who covers Grubhub for Wedbush Securities, wrote in a note to clients Monday that the tech giant's plans to buy Whole Foods for almost $14 billion set it up for a larger food ordering and delivery play.

Peter Arroyo, manager of Gristedes, had more on his mind regarding the Amazon-Whole Foods deal, which he predicted will "screw up the industry in all aspects", said Arroyo. Whole Foods had been working to get better at data collection with the rollout of a loyalty program, and Amazon is expected to give those efforts a significant boost.

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