Amazon today announced plans to buy supermarket chain Whole Foods Market, Inc, a pioneer in the movement towards natural and organic foods, for $13.7 billion, creating the largest M & A deal in the history of Amazon.

As Amazon takes a BIG step into the brick-and-mortar retail sector analysts believe this deal gives Whole Foods Market, Inc. a competitive edge by allowing Whole Foods to take advantage of Amazon's massive buying power, resulting in lower costs. This is good news for you and me and thousands who shop organic.  According to the USDA, "Consumer demand for organically produced goods continues to show double-digit growth..'

In the news, recently, due to pressure from activist groups, Whole Foods Market overhauled their board. This merger lifts much of the pressure off Whole Foods Market and allows them time to make changes.

Plans call for Whole Foods Market to retain their name, operating stores under their brand. According to sources close to the deal, John Mackey will continue as CEO of Whole Foods Market, and headquarters will remain in Austin, TX.  Amazon is headquartered in Bellevue, WA.

The deal will be finalized sometime in the second half of this year (pending approval from shareholders and antitrust regulators), changes may come then, we will have to wait and see.  Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO commented on the deal saying, "Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy.” He went on to say, “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." 

Launched in 1978, Whole Foods now operates more than 450 stores internationally and employs approximately 87,000 people.  Locally you can find Whole Foods Market stores in South Tampa and Carrollwood.

In the world of retail and online grocery shopping until now Amazon has been the giant lurking in the dark, not anymore. Once news hit the wires Whole Foods Market stock prices soared while Target, Costco, and others suffered. Everything in the grocery world changed today!  Looking for additional information about local businesses? Register above and head over to our Business Page

(Cover Photo, Wikimedia Commons - Read more by Carlyn Bullock)