Amazon to Buy US Grocer Whole Foods Market for $13.7 Billion

Amazon to acquire Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion
Whole Foods Market will continue to operate stores under its brand
The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2017
Online juggernaut Amazon is buying Whole Foods in a deal valued at about $13.7 billion (approximately Rs. 88,300 crore), a strong move to expand its growing reach into groceries. Inc. will pay $42 (approximately Rs. 2,700) per share for Whole Foods Market Inc., including debt. That marks an 18 percent premium to Whole Foods’ closing price on Thursday.

The deal comes a month after Whole Foods announced a board shake-up and cost-cutting plan amid falling sales. The grocery store operator was also under pressure from activist investor Jana Partners.

The grocery chain, known for its organic options, had been facing increased pressure from rivals, including European grocery chain Lidl, which is planning to enter the East Coast market, along with Aldi and Trader Joe’s.

Amazon to Buy US Grocer Whole Foods Market for $13.7 Billion

Amazon, meanwhile, has been expanding its reach in goods, services, and entertainment.

Whole Foods will keep operating stores under its name and John Mackey will as CEO, with headquarters in Austin, Texas.

The company, founded in 1978, has struggled to differentiate itself as competitors also now offer a plethora of fresh and organic foods, and has said customers may be choosing “good enough” alternatives closer to home. In addition to other natural and organic grocers, it has cited pressure from restaurant chains, meal-delivery companies and traditional supermarkets such as Kroger.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2017.

Amazon to Face Tough Wal-Mart Test This Back-to-School Season: JPD

Wal-Mart Stores Inc’s online sales is likely to grow double than Inc during the back-to-school season, helped by the acquisition and competitive price offerings, industry research body NPD said.

An aggressive pricing and marketing strategy, coupled with the fact that Amazon’s business has reached maturity in back-to-school sales, will see Wal-Mart winning the online retail tussle this back-to-school season, NPD Chief Analyst Marshal Cohen told Reuters.

“With Wal-Mart’s new investment, I would suspect that Wal-Mart is going to basically be able to increase the growth rate, probably almost double that of Amazon,” Cohen said.

Winning back-to-school, the second-biggest shopping season after the winter holidays, has become extremely important for traditional brick-and-mortar retailers as their store operations continue to lose customers to online shopping.

To close the gap with Amazon, Wal-Mart acquired online wholesale retailer for $3 billion in 2016, through which it not only expanded its product assortment and added more than 400,000 customers, but also gained e-commerce know-how.

Cohen said he expects Wal-Mart to grow its online sales between 2 percent and 5 percent. provides Wal-Mart with a broader assortment of products than what a store has, including timely promotions and dynamic pricing, Cohen said.

Amazon to Face Tough Wal-Mart Test This Back-to-School Season: JPD

Wal-Mart’s online offerings have risen from 8 million items, at the start of 2016, to more than 20 million by the end of the year. In comparison, Amazon has more than 300 million products.

The world’s largest retailer has also started offering free two-day shipping on eligible orders, much like Amazon’s Prime subscription program.

Wal-Mart’s aggressive efforts to take on Amazon seem to be gaining momentum even as other retailers and department store chains struggle.

Online sales for Bentonville, Arkansas-based Wal-Mart rose 63 percent in the first quarter of this year, faster than the 29 percent growth during fourth quarter and 20 percent in the third quarter.

Online sales account for about 3 percent of the company’s total sales. Wal-Mart expects online sales growth of 20 percent to 30 percent in the second half of the year, and even faster in the next few years.

Amazon India Says It Has Doubled Its Seller Base in Less Than a Year


  • Amazon has crossed two lakh digital entrepreneurs-mark in just four years
  • It has also done partnerships with several national and state government
  • This will open online opportunity for thousands of Indian artisans

Amazon India on Tuesday announced it has crossed two lakh digital entrepreneurs-mark in just four years of its operations and in less than a year of crossing the one lakh seller-count last July.

“This fast pace of adoption of the Amazon India marketplace by retailers – online and offline as well as first generation digital entrepreneurs – has come on the back of various unique, India-first innovations like feet on street teams, self-service registration, Chai Cart and Tatkal that helped take this digital opportunity to lakhs of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in tier II and tier III geographies,” the e-commerce major said in a statement.

Amazon India Says It Has Doubled Its Seller Base in Less Than a Year

The statement added that partnerships with several national and state government bodies was helping unlock this online opportunity for thousands of Indian artisans, weavers and craftsmen in the country.


“We have not only introduced Indian sellers to our globally successful offerings for sellers…but have constantly innovated specifically for Indian sellers to address their unique challenges,” said Gopal Pillai, Director and General Manager, Seller Services, Amazon India.

“Our teams have done an admirable job focusing on our core seller experience, seller enablement and seller success. The fast-paced adoption of our marketplace by sellers speaks volumes of their trust in us to help them grow and succeed,” he added.

WWDC 2017: Amazon Prime Video Coming to Apple TV and TV App


  • Tim Cook announced Prime Video for Apple TV
  • tvOS updates to be revealed later this year
  • Prime Video will be available on all Apple TVs

Apple kicked off its WWDC 2017 on Monday with a keynote address at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, where CEO Tim Cook announced new updates to its four key operating systems – tvOS, watchOS, macOS, and iOS. Talking about tvOS, Apple is finally bringing Amazon Prime Video to its Apple TV, as expected.

Cook announced the company’s partnership with Amazon, which will now see the latter’s video subscription service part of Apple TV’s app catalogue. The mention was brief and Cook did not explicitly say when Prime Video will be made available, so you could see it as early as today, or with the next tvOS update, which the CEO has teased for later this year. Furthermore, Prime Video will be available on all Apple TV generations currently in production. It will also be coming to the TV app.WWDC 2017: Amazon Prime Video Coming to Apple TV and TV App

The Apple-Amazon announcement was expected since early last month, where some media reports suggested that the Prime Video app will go live this summer. One of the reasons Amazon’s service can now be part of Apple TV could be because Apple earlier this year changed its App Store policy increasing the tvOS apps size limit from 200MB to 4GB. This means larger apps will now be supported on Apple TV.

The new deal between the two companies may also mean that Amazon will soon resume selling the Apple TV streaming player on its e-commerce properties, something it has stopped doing back in 2015 alongside the Google Chromecast as it saw both the streaming players as a direct competition to its Fire TV streaming player. Note, that this bit has not been confirmed, and was said to be part of the reported deal.

Amazon UK Says No Brexit Hit to Sales So Far

Amazon UK Says No Brexit Hit to Sales So Far

Amazon has not seen a British sales dip since the vote to leave the European Union, its new UK boss said on Wednesday, after announcing the online retailer would create a further 1,000 jobs across the UK this year.

“Our sales are in line with expectations… It’s business as usual as far as we are concerned,” UK country manager Doug Gurr told reporters on Wednesday.

He declined to say what those expectations were.

Gurr, who became Amazon’s UK head in May after a stint in China, said it was too early to say what the impact of the June 23 Brexit vote would be.

“There’s a lot of details to be worked out … We don’t know exactly what the regulatory environment will be, we don’t know exactly what the terms of the new separation will be,” he said.

A survey published last week showed confidence among British consumers fell sharply in the days after the referendum, while on Tuesday department store retailer John Lewis said its sales grew more slowly last week.

On Tuesday the boss of Sainsbury’s, Britain’s second largest supermarket group, said there was a danger of Britain talking itself into another recession.

Gurr said Amazon’s plans for the UK had not changed on the Brexit vote. “We’re continuing with the plans, we haven’t suddenly invented new plans,” he said.

Amazon said on Wednesday it would create a further 1,000 jobs across the UK this year.

These jobs are in addition to 2,500 announced in January and will span its head office, research and development centres, the customer service centre, fulfilment centres, a fashion photography studio and Amazon Web Services.

The additional jobs will take Amazon’s full time permanent employees in the UK to over 15,500 by the end of the year. The status of EU nationals currently living in Britain has been clouded by the Brexit vote.

“What we’ve said to all of our teams is: ‘As far as we’re concerned nothing changes. We’re still part of the EU as of today, we’ll continue to operate on that basis,” said Gurr.