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.

De Beers: US Diamond Jewelry Demand Hits High of $41 Billion

(IDEX Online) – Total diamond jewelry demand from US consumers increased 4.4 percent in 2016 to exceed $40 billion for the first time, according to industry insight data published today by De Beers Group.


While slower US GDP growth in the first quarter of 2017 is likely to have impacted diamond jewelry demand in the short term, the US has recorded five years of consecutive demand growth. US consumers now account for roughly half of all diamond jewelry purchases globally – a level not seen since before the financial crisis.


Although bridal diamond jewelry continues to be the foundation of demand in the US, more frequent acquisitions and a higher value of spend from single women helped drive demand. Meanwhile, self-purchase trends increased among both single and married women.


Fifty-seven percent of self-purchased diamond jewelry is acquired by married women, while a third is from Millennials. Retailers also reported high levels of consumer interest for multi-diamond pieces.

The data showed that consumers are spending more per piece on diamond jewelry, with retailers reporting an increase in the $1,000 to $4,999 category, De Beers claimed.


Globally, demand for diamond jewelry in 2016 increased marginally in US dollars (at actual exchange rates) to $80 billion, with demand growth from the US offsetting a contraction in India.


  • Demand from Chinese consumers grew 0.6 percent in local currency and has continued to improve in early 2017, with robust sales around Chinese New Year contributing to the positive performance in the first quarter.


  • Demand from Indian consumers started to return to more normal levels in 2017, following an 8.8 percent contraction (in local currency) in 2016 due to the jewelers’ strike, demonetization and exchange rates.


  • Demand from Japanese consumers declined 2.9 percent in local currency in 2016, but growth in US dollars reached 8.1 percent due to the strength of the yen.


  • Demand in the Gulf was impacted by a challenging macro-economic environment, driven by continued oil price weakness.


Further marginal global growth in diamond jewelry demand (in US dollar terms) is likely in 2017.


Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group, said: “American consumers continue to express strong desire for diamonds, but their purchasing habits are changing rapidly. While bridal diamond jewelry remains fundamental, we are seeing both single and married women buying for themselves more frequently and more purchases being made online. Meanwhile, products such as multi-diamond jewelry are becoming more popular.


“However, while US demand drove global growth in 2016, it is increasing demand from emerging markets that is behind the last five years being the strongest on record. Despite some markets facing challenging conditions last year, we see this trend continuing, with improvements in demand from China and India, in particular, emerging in 2017.”

Apple Says Developers Earned Over $70 Billion Since App Store's Launch


  • Apple made the announcement on Thursday
  • Photo and Video category is fastest growing category on App Store
  • Apple’s WWDC 2017 kicks off next week

Apple on Thursday, few days ahead of its Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) kickoff, announced that its global developer community has earned over $70 billion through the App Store since its launch in 2008. The Cupertino-based giant further added that last 12 months have seen massive growth, and the App Store has seen over 70 percent growth in downloads.

Talking about its App Store, Apple said that iOS developers around the world have been catering to 155 countries, and few segments have lately seen massive growth. Apple says that the Photo and Video category is among the “fastest-growing” as it registered nearly 90 percent growth. Other segments like Lifestyle apps, Health and Fitness have seen over 70 percent growth in the past year. Gaming and Entertainment are top-grossing categories, adds Apple in a statement.

Apple also adds that the subscription model introduction has bumped the paid subscriptions as it saw 58 percent more paid subscriptions compared to over a year ago. The company notes that subscription model has been doing well in a wide variety of services including Netflix and Hulu. While newcomers like Tastemade, the mobile-first cooking network, and photo editing apps like Over and Enlight, have also done well.Apple Says Developers Earned Over $70 Billion Since App Store's Launch

Announcing the news, Philip Schiller, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing said, “People everywhere love apps and our customers are downloading them in record numbers. Seventy billion dollars earned by developers is simply mind-blowing. We are amazed at all of the great new apps our developers create and can’t wait to see them again next week at our Worldwide Developers Conference.”

Apple’s annual developer conference WWDC is no doubt one of the biggest events for the technology lovers and it will take place from June 5 to June 9. The 28th annual Worldwide Developers Conference will be returning to McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, which will host the event after 15 years. For those unaware, San Jose was the original venue of WWDC, and it hosted Apple’s annual event from 1988 to 2002.