Amazon buys Whole Foods for $13.7bn

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Headline should read: Amazon just bought the best retail shopping experience.

Yowzers. The monopoly march of consolidation continues.


Yay I guess. It would make it easy to get Whole Foods things and add in Prime Now. Might be a good fit.

I really do not even get why.

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Well, there goes Jeff’s whole paycheck.


Whole Foods in not very known here so I just thought about Master of Nothing and this scene:

It all makes me curious where Amazon thinks its going with online retail. Buying electronics, books and other goods is a no brainer… seems totally fine as an internet phenomenon. But what about


I go to the grocery store so that I can touch the actual avocado, to determine its ripeness before deciding to spend a buck or two on each one. If they are especially good, I might buy a few extra. If they suck, I won’t buy any.

And in the milk section, I buy the freshest milk available by looking at the date stamped on the jug and pick the furthest away date. Same for bread. I look at my lettuce and pick the least wilty and silty. So does nearly everybody else. I’m not claiming a unique sixth sense of shopping. Everybody who isn’t stoned in the grocery store is doing this right along with me, in their own way.

How does Amazon intend to approach that type of shopping with an online experience? Maybe they think they can. Maybe they intend to show a live webcam of the actual tomato that’s going to go into the sack that the drone is going to gently place on my doorstep. Maybe the webcam will have a UI, so I can pick the tomato, no not that one… THAT one… CLICK. Or something.


We increasingly buy our groceries online and have them delivered. Less time spent in the car is always a bonus. It works just fine. If fruit and vegetables don’t measure up, they refund, no questions asked.


What about when you first started doing it? What did you (mentally) overcome or get past, in order to do it the first time?

This was very unexpected news. But my guess is that this has something to do with growing their Amazon Fresh and Amazon Prime Pantry businesses, having local organic/fresh markets that can provide groceries and produce for quick delivery.

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Nothing, really. We started with a small order. Tested the idea, I guess.

One thing that was common when I lived in the UK was home delivery, but from regular stores. As many people in London don’t have cars, it makes sense to walk, tube or bus to the store, buy your stuff, and have them deliver it later in the day. It’s a good compromise. Another difference was that in the UK (in the cities, at least), many people have tiny fridges and buy in small carryable lots from neighbourhood stores.


So does this means now Amazon is going to be grossly over priced, or is Whole Foods actually going to be affordable now?


My friend here in Houston works at Whole Foods. He said he thought of the sweatshop conditions at Amazon’s warehouses when he heard the news on NPR.


Everybody join in the magnificence
Yes! everything is absolutely making sense
Every time you turn around your soul gets sold
To the highest bidder
Then they turn around and merger and they merger
And the merger and they murder and they murder
The one who murders most will take it all


Maybe this means kale delivery drones? aka the hipster singularity.


I don’t do any of those things.

If the milk is going to be gone in a few days, which it is, I buy the old one.
If I"m making a mousse I buy the tattered scallops. If people prefer the light ones, I’ll take the dark ones.
For almost all applications I buy the mushrooms that are showing a little fatigue. They have more flavor.
I feel less funky about asking not take the tail section on salmon fillet if sometimes I ask for it because I don’t need portions.

I feel like shopping for what I actually need can lead to less waste.


In Toronto, we’ve had that kind of shopping experience for more than ten years now:

In addition, our largest grocery chain, Loblaws, will let you order online, pull up your car, and someone loads in your groceries. Not home delivery, but definitely online ordering.

They both do this by guaranteeing expiry dates on produce, having grocery “pickers” make the same choices you would, and offer credits for choices you don’t like, no questions asked.


When I lived in NYC I always found this to be a lazy cliché - my grocery bills stayed about the same when I shopped there and the fruit and produce lasted much longer than cheaper stuff from the corner supermarket. Their own brand stuff is reasonably priced.

Now that I’ve moved to the country and shop in a “normal” supermarket if anything my grocery bills have increased, plus now I have gas to add to the total.

YMMV - my diet is mostly organic and 100% vegetarian

Loblaw’s has a great Law Blog too