“Spending $13.7 billion at Whole Foods only gets you one slightly used organic gluten free grape.”
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On Friday, news broke that Jeff Bezos, founder of the online retail monolith Amazon, would be acquiring Whole Foods for an astounding $13.7 billion. Amazon, which has previously moved beyond its digital walls to create a checkout-free supermarket model in Seattle, is bound to disrupt the wider market as a result of this enormous takeover.
According to TechCrunch, not much will change at your local Whole Foods in the immediate future; vendors and brand partners will stay the same, as will the company’s Austin, Texas-based headquarters. As Bezos said in a statement: “Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy. 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.”
Still, mergers of this size rarely instill confidence within the same sphere of stockholders. Stocks at major groceries—from Kroger to Target and Costco—fell following the news early Friday morning. And while it looks like Amazon and Whole Foods will operate independently for now, the fact that Amazon now has financial control of more than 430 stores around the world is likely unsettling for many small retailers looking to break into the grocery delivery market.
Whether you’re in the grocery business or not, the internet always has something to say about mergers of this scale. From funny observations to skeptical outlooks, here’s what Twitter users have to say on the matter.
Tell me it hasn’t happened to you: You walk into a Whole Foods to pick up some Kombucha and $13.7 billion later you’ve got the whole chain.— Jeremy Bowers (@Jeremy Bowers) 1497628321
Amazon bought Whole Foods and we bought this. https://t.co/0pYzdyEqAb— comedycentral (@comedycentral) 1497628055
Sorry, the hot food section of the Whole Foods buffet is reserved for Prime members.— Dave Pell (@Dave Pell) 1497630948
Bezos: "Alexa, buy me something from Whole Foods." Alexa: "Buying Whole Foods." Bezos: "Wait, what?"— Matt Krause (@Matt Krause) 1497627179
“People who bought Whole Foods also bought...”— Benedict Evans (@Benedict Evans) 1497624985
Lots of buyouts this morning: Amazon bought Whole Foods. Wal-Mart bought Bonobos. And the NRA bought Congress.— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈) 1497623964