Friday, 15 December, 2017

Critics call for Amazon - Whole Foods deal to be blocked

Critics call for Amazon - Whole Foods deal to be blocked Critics call for Amazon - Whole Foods deal to be blocked
Melba Vasquez | 23 June, 2017, 18:14

Real estate developers and investors are about to get busy thanks to Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods. "The combination has generated some outsized coverage".

"We are incrementally cautious on grocery-anchored strips as uncertainty rises resulting from Lidl's entry into the USA market as well as the growing threat of [Amazon's] disruptive impact following its [Whole Foods] deal announcement", Thomas wrote. (NYSE: KR), have a large part of the market.

"I think you're gonna see Whole Foods Market evolve in leaps and bounds", Mackey said. Publix is expanding as well.

"Maybe Prime members would get deals on Whole Foods produce, and they could elect to have the fresh veggies and organic dips delivered to their homes and apartments". It has the expertise to align the chain's product range to its customers much better....

Amazon's market capitalization grew by more than $11 billion on the day the Whole Foods deal was announced.

"At what point do they own the entire food chain, whether in equity or buying power?" he said. And in a nod to the popularity of delivery companies like Blue Apron, Kroger and Whole Foods have been testing meal kits as well. On the surface theirs looks a marriage made in heaven. "Amazon is placing its bet on the future of the food industry", says Errol Schweizer, a former Whole Foods executive who is now an industry adviser, "and they see Whole Foods as the leadership". In my opinion, I think the hype is overblown.

Amazon correctly believes it has built a better online mousetrap and that free enterprise means being able to pursue opportunities, and taking the related risk, without government interference.

Brian West, a Publix spokesman, wouldn't directly address whether the company would speed up its InstaCart expansion.

Simply stated, the online marketer's ability to charge much less for goods or delivery could run competitors out of business.

Food producers could soon face the sort of pressure that booksellers faced from Amazon, which for example removed the "buy" button in 2010 from books sold by a publisher it was embroiled in a dispute with. Online delivery services and deep-discount chains are threatened to upend supermarkets' long-held perch in the food landscape. If Amazon does crack the integration of online and offline grocery retail, Publix and other major chains may become the next Borders. However, some still feel the stock is overvalued. The supermarkets that remain will cater to individual customers and market to them based on key characteristics - such as a vegan diet or a peanut allergy - to shape the entire shopping experience. "It seems like it would be easier to loop that distribution system into Whole Foods", says Michael Volpatt, co-owner of Big Bottom Market in Guerneville, California, whose biscuit mixes are sold through Amazon.

Amazon is also known for being disruptive by nature, across varied markets.

"We know that no matter what type of product shoppers are buying, price is always the number one factor", Smith said. Kroger in particular fell because it had just downgraded its financial performance for the rest of 2017, he said.

"The pressure they exert on suppliers is stifling", Mr. Lipman said. In a sign of how powerful its private label can be, analytics company 1010data found that for a 12-month period ending a year ago, 94% of all batteries sold online went through Amazon sites, and Amazon's own brand made up about a third of all online battery sales.

West, the Publix spokesman, said the new valuation will be based on each stock's performance for the entire month of July.

The deal could be "transformative", Moody's lead retail analyst Charlie O'Shea said, "not just for food retail, but for retail in general".

Services will include inventory management, smart manufacturing and logistics, aiming to slash waste and margins across the entire supply chain, according to the company's so-called "New Retail" strategy.

"No doubt it's a big deal; it's a large amount of money", Harinarayan said.

Rather, Amazon wanted a high-end grocery chain with convenient parking to provide a more attractive locale for foot traffic to pick up orders. If anything, the transaction is likely to foster an even more competitive environment, one that has already been escalated by a brewing price war. Grocers have also been relatively untouched by the many customer service features we've come to associate with online shopping - for instance, customer reviews and recommendations. They don't need to do that. In other words, room for growth is very limited in the market.

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