Amazon acquires Whole Foods Market

Online giant Amazon is to buy out the Whole Food Market chain of organic food supermarkets for a reported $13.7 billion.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and chief executive, said: “Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for nearly four decades – they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue.”

There are nine Whole Foods Market shops in the UK, most of which are in London. The company reported sales of around $16 billion in 2016, and has more tha 460 stores in the US, Canada and the UK.

Amazon said Whole Foods Market would continue to operate stores under the Whole Foods Market brand and source from trusted vendors and partners around the world. “John Mackey will remain as CEO of Whole Foods Market and Whole Foods Market’s headquarters will stay in Austin, Texas.”

“This partnership presents an opportunity to maximise 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 Mackey.

Whole Foods Market became notorious for selling pre-peeled oranges in plastic containers, so while certain strata of the commentariat don’t shop there, its healthy turnover and wholesome image make it an interesting addition to the seemingly conscience free Amazon. It will be interesting to see what direction this hook up leads Amazon to go in future. Perhaps a major new line of organic foods under the AmazonFresh umbrella?

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