Can Amazon Persuade Enough People To Buy Fresh Food Online?

Amazon.com's plan to buy Whole Foods Market Inc. sparked an avalanche of discussion about how the online retail giant could transform the US grocery industry in the years ahead.

Mackey explained that he and his top execs first "flew up to Seattle" to talk with Amazon about a possible merger a little over six weeks ago.

Online shopping has been taking over the retail sector for some time, but the recent announcement that online shopping giant Amazon has bought U.S. specialty grocery store Whole Foods still came as a shock.

"We've seen Amazon expand recently into physical, brick-and-mortar stores, for example their new bookstores and Amazon Go, their small grocery store experiment that doesn't require a customer to go through check out", says Elizabeth Lim, senior analyst for Mergermarket.

Any buyer of Whole Foods would likely argue that it was not in the same market, said Alden Abbott, an antitrust expert with the Heritage Foundation.

GrubHub Inc. shares gained around 5 percent on Monday after an analyst suggested that the online and mobile food-ordering service could be the next buyout target of Amazon after its acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc. "This is not a Tinder relationship.I got a feeling I'm off script".

Despite a recent sales slump, Whole Foods still has a passionate following among foodie shoppers.

"This was a very exciting announcement because I think consumers will be the ones to benefit", said Lindsay Sakraida, director of content marketing at DealNews. The opportunity for both an offline (Whole Foods) and online (Amazon's e-commerce store) strategy is potentially lucrative. But he said he thought Amazon would be able to help Whole Foods more quickly realize the changes it has already been pursuing, such as a loyalty program and its cost-cutting efforts.

Now that the companies have announced their tie-up, Mackey went on to say he is completely over the moon about Amazon.

"This is kind of the dream come true", Mackey, who claimed to have dreamed of the partnership more than a year ago, said of the deal, calling it at times "amazing", "tremendous" and "exciting".

But they also say there is a clear victor here: Shoppers.

Without cashiers or checkout lines, Whole Foods might not need quite as many employees-and with fewer workers to pay, it would be even easier for Amazon/Whole Foods to lower prices for customers. We just fell in love. "I think we could have talked for 10 hours", Mr. Mackey said at the town hall. He said, for the time being, Amazon will be focused on the Whole Foods deal.

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