Whole Foods CEO says brand's standards intact under Amazon

Alain Brian
Juin 20, 2017

But Amazon's $13.7-billion deal might not be the last word on the merger itself.

For years now, the name Whole Foods has been synonymous with high-margin health food. Amazon "didn't put this out of reach for everybody else" in terms of price, he said. The Whole Foods announcement "was a broadside by Amazon ... that Walmart needs to respond to". Whole Foods stock closed today at $43.22/share, more than $1 above the per-share value of the Amazon acquisition, in the latest sign that some investors believe there could be a bidding war from a rival acquirer. However, despite launching its Amazon Fresh food delivery service over a decade ago, the company accounts for less than 0.5 percent of grocery spending in the USA today. With Amazon behind the wheels, the costs of its products could go down significantly, which would make them more appealing to customers. They can (bring) pricing pressure.

Prindle said the grocery business is "the lifeblood of Walmart, a source of a both foot traffic and revenue, as well as huge portion of their internet shopping aspirations". Amazon's grocery efforts have been largely focused on the U.S. thus far, but it has grocery delivery operations in the United Kingdom and partnerships with chains like Morrisons. Sprouts didn't respond to a request for comment.

Amazon.com, Inc. shares rose $8.69 (+0.88%) in premarket trading Monday.

The deal comes after Whole Foods has been pressured as a key sales figure has declined.

Whole Foods used to be one of the leaders in organic and natural foods, but other chains have increased the availability of those products.

It's not yet clear what specific changes are in store at either Amazon or Whole Foods, since the two companies are saying little about their plans. "He could make some shocking changes that could be deadly to some of these [existing] brands".

Jeff Wilke, Amazon's CEO of Worldwide Consumer who was on hand at the town hall last week, affirmed that Amazon did not want Whole Foods to change its standards on food quality, according to the transcript.

NEW YORK (AP) — Whole Foods CEO John Mackey says the deal to be acquired by Amazon was the result of a "whirlwind courtship". Whole Foods already has a lot of in-store dining and lots of prepared foods.

Major acquisitions like the Whole Foods buyout are very complex. If somebody could convince Wal-Mart Stores Inc CEO Doug McMillon to say he has no interest in buying WFM that could go a long way.

Whole Foods is part of the "crème de la crème of the supermarket industry" and is a "hand-in-glove fit" with the educated, relatively affluent demographic of Amazon customers who pay $99 a year for the site's Prime membership that includes free shipping, video streaming and other services, Greif said.

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