For many of its customers, Whole Foods is an organic mecca of specialty foods gathered together in a haven that caters to food allergy sufferers and those with other dietary needs. For others, especially those who rarely darken their doors, it’s an overpriced grocery store for granola eaters.
Whatever your view, the nationwide grocery store has been struggling to stay afloat in recent years despite a rising interest in organic food, according to the Washington Post. Founded 36 years ago, the company had to abandon a plan earlier this year to almost triple its U.S. locations and instead closed several stores.
One of the key factors blamed for Whole Foods’ struggles is that the rising popularity of organics has encouraged many other mainstream grocery store chains to start offering a sizable supply of organic options. And they often do it for cheaper. In fact, just over half of organic shoppers now buy their products from mainstream stores.
Oddly enough, Costco is now believed to be the biggest organic retailer in America. According to Fortune, Costco is the 38th largest company — by revenue — in the world.
So it’s not surprising the Whole Foods has been looking for a buyer that can turn their prospects around. And the company that ranks number 44 in the world, according to Fortune, may be the one to do it.
CNBC is reporting that Amazon is working on buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. That’s a lot of lettuce, no pun intended.
Amazon, which is seeing some of the fastest revenue growth among the top 50 companies in the world, seems bent on world domination — if Google and Facebook don’t get there first — so it shouldn’t be too surprising of a move.
But what will this mean for Whole Food customers? Amazon Prime purchases delivered in-store? Drone deliveries of multi-vitamins? Locations renamed to Amazon Foods?
Those details haven’t been released, except that Whole Foods will keep its name for now. The grocery store chain’s online game is expected to get a big boost, though. Amazon already offers grocery and household essentials deliveries through its Amazon Fresh and Prime Now services in some urban markets.
Could this purchase mean cheaper prices at Whole Foods? Time will tell. The deal has not been finalized, though, and Walmart — ranked number one in the world — may make a bid as well. That’s a move that may not have Whole Foods fans cracking open a bottle of grass juice in celebration, though.
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