And now the company has more good news, at least for itself. Today, both Amazon and the organic food chain Whole Foods announced that Amazon will be buying the grocer for $13.7 billion. According to the announcement, both companies expect the deal to be finalized by the end of the second quarter of this year. Whole Foods will be retaining its CEO and co-founder, John Mackey, and the brick-and-mortar locations will continue to run independently.
In the press release, it’s stressed that this is a partnership between the two companies and not simply a major takeover:
“This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers,” said John Mackey, Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO”
For Amazon, this is the company’s largest acquisition to date. The previous largest move made by the company was when it purchased Zappos for around $1.2 billion back in 2009.
Amazon already has a presence in the grocery business thanks to Amazon Fresh, and while this particular acquisition news was a surprise for the end of the week, it’s not completely out of the blue. Amazon’s focus on grocery shopping has been obvious for quite some time now.
The big question here is, despite Whole Foods saying its stores will run independently, when do you think we’ll start seeing Kindle tablets in those locations?