Instacart Thinks Its Deal with Whole Foods Will Survive Amazon Buyout

Amazon to buy Whole Foods Market in deal valued at $13.7 billion

It announced Friday that it's buying online men's clothing retailer Bonobos for $310 million in cash, following a string of online acquisitions including ModCloth and Moosejaw. The technology lets people pay with smartphones without seeing a cashier or going to a checkout kiosk, which would help Amazon differentiate itself in the brick-and-mortar setting and reduce labor costs at Whole Foods stores.

The message is this: The brick-and-mortar retail business that pioneered organic, fresh food and the country's dominant e-commerce company makea powerful combination.

Under the Amazon deal, it would continue operating stores under its Whole Foods banner, co-founder John Mackey would remain CEO, and Whole Foods would stay headquartered in Austin, Texas.

Nonetheless, a lot is about to change.

On top of the Whole Foods Market deal, Amazon has unveiled plans for a constellation of book shops around the United States - stepping in to replace the very bricks-and-mortar booksellers it drove out of business with its online offerings.

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Only about 2% of about $600 billion in annual grocery sales are made online, according to Daphne Carmeli, CEO of Deliv, which handles same-day delivery for more than 4,000 retailers, including grocers. "This will be a good deal for consumers". Its market value now stands at $466 billion, making it one of the most powerful companies in the world. They primarily want us to sell the company.

CHRISTY DAVIS: Nice atmosphere when you're shopping. But there have been challenges.

TARRANT: As an industry, I mean they're 10 years behind at least. Has that been a problem for Amazon?

Here's a look at shares of Amazon and Whole Foods over the past year. And figuring out how to get it to your front door is the ultimate inconvenience for consumers. The parties expect to close the transaction during the second half of 2017. Both companies said there will be no layoffs, but did not respond to other questions about Amazon's plans for Whole Foods.

Especially among millennials, is that right?

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Whole Foods has 9 United Kingdom branches and almost 350 in the USA and Canada.

Yes. That's an extraordinary penetration for a supermarket chain with just 431 stores.

With Whole Foods, Amazon gets an established business that it can transform through its technology and supply network expertise.

Those stores solve much of Amazon's "last mile" delivery challenge for fresh groceries. Or someone who buys granola bars monthly from Whole Foods and paper towels every other week from Amazon might be offered the items in a single shipment, delivered to the door. Will we just be stopping by to pick up what we ordered online? "I don't think we'd be interested". The stores could teach cooking skills, hold classes and educate about food.

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