Amazon Buys Whole Foods, Completes World Domination

Photo courtesy of Whole Foods Press images

Amazon Buys Whole Foods, Completes World Domination

by Rebecca Chodorkoff | The Dish | Jun 17, 2017

It’s official: Amazon is taking over the world. Or, at the very least, it’s taking over Whole Foods—and that’s basically the same thing, right?

On Friday morning Amazon announced they were acquiring the upscale supermarket chain in a $13.7 billion deal. The move reflects Amazon’s desire to expand their online grocery delivery services. And to rule the world, of course.

Amazon has radically changed how people shop. One of the few areas where they fall short is online grocery delivery—but that might only be because the general public has not yet made the shift to grocery delivery. However, millennials between 25 and 34 are about twice as likely to buy their groceries online than older shoppers.

Whole Foods, however, lags behind on grocery delivery. Their stores are often in urban areas, where online grocery delivery thrives. This competition has been challenging to their sales.

Bryan Eisenberg, co-author of “Be Like Amazon: Even a Lemonade Stand Can Do It,” believes that the recipe for success in the modern market is copying Amazon.

“The same issues that plague retailers are affecting chain restaurants and many other businesses,” Eisenberg tells BTRtoday, “They have failed to understand how customer expectations have been influenced by Amazon and other businesses outside of their category.”

Eisenberg describes “four pillars” of success that Amazon has employed: “Customer centricity, a culture of innovation, corporate agility, and continuous optimization.”

If you can’t beat them, join them. Or, in the case of Whole Foods: if you can’t be like Amazon, be Amazon.

Whole Foods CEO John Mackey said in a statement that the acquisition is ideal for shareholders and customers alike. After the merging of the companies, Mackey plans to stay in his position.

While the purchase appears mutually beneficial, there is the question of whether Amazon has finally gone too far. Whole Foods is a high-end grocery store with prices to match, while Amazon is successful largely due to its competitive pricing model.

The irony of the cost discrepancy is not lost on observers. Twenty-seven year old Alyssa jokes, “Amazon is buying Whole Foods for 13.7B dollars, or in other words two bags of groceries.”

Can the companies reconcile these differences, or is Amazon staring down the barrel? My bets are on Amazon. It’s only a matter of time before they start buying hospitals and funeral homes, and ushering humans through their entire lifespan with nothing more than the click of a button.