For Whole Foods workers, fears of robots, drones and culture clash

When Jana Partners LLC in April said it had raised its stake in Whole Foods in April and pushed for a sale of the company, Whole Foods interviewed several investment banks to hire an adviser to help defend against the activist hedge fund.

But Michelle Grant, head of retailing at market research firm Euromonitor, said Amazon could use an obscure part of the Whole Foods portfolio - Whole Foods 365 - to lure Wal-Mart shoppers. The online retailer had been experimenting with brick and mortar retailing in recent years, but Whole Foods' sagging stock price provided the opportunity to take over an existing business, rather than build one from the ground up.

Amazon's shares rose 2.4 per cent to $987.71, adding $11 billion to its market capitalization, which in one sense makes the acquisition almost free for Amazon shareholders, AP points out. (NASDAQ:WFM) in a deal valued at around $13.7 billion.

Amazon will gain a footprint of 456 supermarket stores in North America and Britain with the acquisition of Whole Foods, boosting its delivery capacity and allowing it to compete directly with U.S. chains such as Kroger Co and Albertsons LLC.

When Inc. completes its acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc., Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos will try to keep the grocer's reputation for premium fresh foods while cutting prices to shed its "Whole Paycheck" image.

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Amazon is in the process of acquiring Whole Foods, a popular supermarket chain in America. "Why is Amazon going to let a third party vendor take margin off of their sale?"

The New York Times says Amazon wants to, or already has created plans to expand its e-commerce business into physical retail.

Amazon, started in Seattle in 1994 by Bezos, a former hedge fund manager, has grown into the world's biggest diversified online retailer, with a market capitalization of almost $500 billion.

The grocery store business has been rapidly changing, but today that change just might have gone into overdrive.

"Whole Foods Market will continue to operate stores under the Whole Foods Market brand and source from trusted vendors and partners around the world", Amazon said in a press release. "Whole Foods is expensive enough". The company is slowly building a fleet of outlets, cementing its supermarket dreams. This will allow Whole Foods to do what it does but better and more profitable.

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SELYUKH: Bernstein is actually a huge fan of both Whole Foods and Amazon.

"I think this acquisition is a concern", he said.

Also, consider the purchase of Whole Foods from another perspective: kingslaying. Amazon paid $42 per share for the grocery chain.

With this strategy, Amazon is planning to make the prices competitive and attract "more low- and middle-income shoppers" to its retail stores, which may still be located in posh localities. Prime membership for groceries cements a relationship with a grocery store, and it encourages members who have not shopped there to shop in Whole Foods.

But the sell off may not be entirely attributed to Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods.

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