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What Amazon’s buying Whole Foods means for grocery stores and retail




A Whole Foods Market Inc. store is seen as the company appointed five new directors to its board and replaced its chairman on May 10, 2017 in Miami, Florida.
A Whole Foods Market Inc. store is seen as the company appointed five new directors to its board and replaced its chairman on May 10, 2017 in Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

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Friday morning, Amazon announced that it will buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, shaking Wall Street and plunging the shares of grocery chains and big-box retailers.  

This would be Amazon’s biggest acquisition by a long shot. Whole Foods has over 460 stores in the U.S., Britain and Canada, and may be a bellwether of the online giant’s expansion into physical retail.

Just last year, Amazon launched their beta Amazon Go, the Amazon brick and mortar grocery store sans check-out lines that presents a completely new model for retail. This was accompanied by patent applications for Amazon’s model of sensors and payment that would create a cashier-free retail experience.

Will we be seeing a large-scale roll-out of the Amazon Go system via Whole Foods? What does Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods mean for the future of grocery stores and retail?

Guests:

Joe Dobrowformer marketing executive for Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market and other natural markets; author of the book, “Natural Prophets: From Health Foods to Whole Foods” (Rodale Books, 2014)

Brad Stone, senior executive editor for technology at Bloomberg News; author of “The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon” (Little, Brown and Company, 2013)