Bells Ring For Whole Foods and Amazon

The remarks, released by Whole Foods on Monday, helped shed new light on a deal that was presented Friday with a relatively terse, 5-paragraph statement. "And I think it would be insane to change them", said Jeff Wilke, chief executive of world-wide consumer at Amazon, at the Whole Foods town hall.

"We just had these big grins on our faces, like, "These guys are fantastic.' They're so smart". "It's too early to talk about how benefits and compensation may synch up", Mackey said of the topic, after jesting that Whole Foods employees will get free Amazon devices on merger day.

Mackey confirmed that Whole Foods' quality standards will remain the same and that the grocer's employees will be well taken care of. Wilke also noted that Mackey would continue as CEO of Whole Foods, which prompted Mackey to interject by continuing the romantic allusion.

Whole Foods' 400-plus stores and customer base, combined with Amazon's vast shopper database offer food manufacturers a treasure trove of consumer insight that can be applied to brand-building, marketing and targeted sales promotion.

Use the map below to compare the concentration of Whole Foods stores (in green shading) with Amazon's distribution and fulfillment network (use the menu drop-down option to change views). Whole Foods' national presence left them perfectly-suited to serve as a growth catalyst for Instacart to enter new markets. Still, much is unknown about how the Amazon takeover will impact Whole Foods, the grocery industry, and grocery shoppers in general.

That was feeling of Taylor Malooly, 19, a University of Texas student at Whole Foods in Austin, who said a Whole Foods delivery service would have to be fast if he were to try it.

They'll be dealing with "integrating it and really attacking what is the biggest retail market in the USA, which is grocery", Blackledge said.

"One thing they do better is they are more customer-centric than we are", he said.

In a note to clients, the bank's analysts said: "We could argue that the impact of Amazon will be very long term, that it might not be successful in its venture or that the same strategy will not be exported to the United Kingdom - and we might be right". "Books are lot more homogenous", she said, noting that a hardcover Harry Potter book is the same at Amazon - though Amazon can sell it at a lower price. I think we coulda talked for 10 hours. "I dreamed that we merged with Amazon", he said. Amazon's resources and technology might help expand those stores, some analysts say.

While Mackey insisted Whole Foods would keep commitment it high-quality, natural and organic foods, he also said that there could be spinoff retailers and brands that wouldn't necessarily play by the same rules.

  • Larry Hoffman