Amazon to buy Whole Foods for US$13.7b

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

Shares of Whole Foods closed Friday at $42.68 - topping the $42 per share offer that Amazon put in for the Austin, Texas-based grocery store chain.

The Whole Foods store at the foot of the Oakland Hills is an always busy success story even as some customers expressed a range of views when asked about Friday's bombshell announcement that online giant Amazon is snapping up the specialty grocer.

Amazon has sought to both enter the grocery market with its Fresh grocery delivery service and beef up a more traditional physical retail presence with a small fleet of bookstores and mall kiosks along with two grocery stores and a convenience store in Seattle.

In the US "this adds 440 refrigerated warehouses within 10 miles of probably 80% of the population", said Michael Pachter, an analyst for Wedbush Securities.

Charlie O'Shea, a Moody's lead retail analyst, told the Associated Press news agency that the deal could be "transformative, not just for food retail, but for retail in general".

-Amazon. Investors like the deal and think it will be good for the online retail giant, which has been expanding its grocery offerings.

Mackey helped grow the company from a tiny health-conscious grocer in Texas into a giant in upscale chain in all but eight USA states.

Interestingly, Mackey called activist Jana Partners "greedy bastards" in an interview released on Wednesday.

An early US Open departure for Day and McIlroy
The tournament-leading foursome held a one-shot lead over a trio of contenders that includes first-round leader Rickie Fowler . Day , who won the 2015 PGA Championship up the road at Whistling Straits, had to birdie his last hole Thursday to break 80.

Shares of dozens of supermarkets, food producers, payment processors and shopping malls collectively lost at least $35 billion in USA market value on Friday as the news reverberated across financial markets.

Amazon, known for its competitive prices, is trying to attract more low- and middle-income shoppers with its grocery push.

The New York Times says Amazon wants to, or already has created plans to expand its e-commerce business into physical retail. Earlier this week rumors were swelling that Amazon had its sights on acquiring messaging technology company Slack, turns out it was Whole Foods that would be first.

"They (Amazon) always try to offer the best price, which is good for the customer, but not good for the brand", Motkin said.

Take Amazon Go, for example, the company's high-end shopping service that allows shoppers to walk in, get whatever stuff they need, and then go - no checkout lines, no cashiers. "It's probably like the flawless match right", Whitney Winchester said. The companies said they expect to close the transaction during the second half of 2017.

Whole Foods has had a reputation of high prices and has been derided sometimes as "Whole Paycheck". It adds that it plans no job cuts as part of the deal.

Whole Foods, founded in 1978, has more than 460 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom, employs 87,000 people and is the leading natural and organic foods supermarket. Whole Foods will keep operating stores under its name.

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