Why Amazon is buying Whole Foods for $13.4 Billion


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/06/16/why-amazon-is-buying-whole-foo.html


#2

Amazon: destroys Sears, JCPenney, KMart, Borders, Circuit City…
Shareholders: "More money, now!"
Amazon: surveys the wreckage “So, brick-and-mortar, then?”


#3

To be fair, I think all 4 of those destroyed themselves.


#4

Sears/KMart certainly did. I feel like Borders was the first real quarry Amazon managed to take down, even if books are only a tiny part of their revenue these days.


#5

Actually, I could argue that you are right and Borders didn’t do themselves in…however, Barnes and Nobles are still seemingly fine. I feel that Borders did something to themselves.

Sears, Kmart, and CC definitely were mis-managed and went down hill products and customer service.


#6

Barnes and Noble is a dead man walking. Everyday I see one of their stores open I am surprised


#7

Combine organic produce and Amazon’s history of having a nice cozy relationship with counterfeiters - what could possibly go wrong?

Soon we’ll have 100% genuine “organic” produce flooding the market. A few words with whatever idiot Trump puts in charge of the FDA and I am sure that it won’t matter how much heavy metals or pesticides are in your lettuce, if the label says its organic, then by gum, it’s organic and anyone saying anything else is just spreading fake news.


#8

Berman has it right: Whole Foods is going to become a bricks-and-mortar distribution endpoint for Amazon’s target demographic, with the e-commerce Web site continuing to act as an ordering hub and catalogue/POS system. It’s going to be about a lot more than food. I can see them opening up annexes to the main anchor stores and becoming an upscale and digitally connected version of Walmart (no doubt with some of the monopolistic aspects).

Also, given Amazon’s recent experiment with checkout-less markets, a roll-out to all WF locations of similar tech (and follow-on actions by other big grocery chains) will see another swath of entry-level service work positions wiped out.


#9

The brick & mortar is somewhat incidental. They’re interested in the distribution nodes and also the physical location of the stores makes it easier for them to expend their services. What if you didn’t want to have certain things dropped off at your house because someone might steal it but you could swing by Whole Foods and pick up your order… and maybe do some grocery shopping. There’s probably more use cases that they can come up with.

Still i’m feeling pretty apprehensive over this with the looming shadow of a bigger monopoly.


#10

All of that money, time & effort just so Amazon could get it’s ass handed to them by Trader Joes & Wegmans hahaha


#11

In all fairness “100% certified organic” was never much of a benchmark to begin with.

Most tropical fruits and imported vegetables from the developing world are grown that way as a matter of course. Slapping the label allowed them to charge 10-20% more for some of the more distressed looking items.


#12

I get a kick out of the fact that Trader Joe’s setup is like if the USSR actually had decent goods on its shelves!


#13

The smartest thing Amazon could do, from a retail standpoint, would be to put delivery lockers at the back of the store, right next to the $6 bottles of asparagus water. #retailtheory


#14

I think it’s less about having places for you to pick up traditional orders from the warehouse than it is about being able to expand Amazon Fresh to every single market that has a Whole Foods.


#15

They believe they have good ideas for POS, but they know building that tech and getting it adopted will take time. It might be cheaper and in the long run more profitable if they sought partners to showcase it, but that’s a long slog and gives competitors time to take the space.

The distribution network is also key to enabling things like Prime Now to expand faster. Every city with a WF could get Prime Now delivery of whatever’s in the store.


#16

For sure this is part of their plan, it’s a no brainer for them. But there’s additional benefits for services they currently offer as well to their prime members. If i could pick up certain orders at my leisure at a Whole Foods rather than have the uncertainty of someone stealing a package from my front door i would do so.


#17

You know, the $5.99 asparagus water reminds me of a business idea I had. If I had a clue how to implement it, I’d make a million dollars.

So since I moved to the Chicago Loop area, I’ve noticed the tap water tastes great. Actually, the city has some of the best rated tap water in the country. It easily tastes better than a lot of bottled water.

So, why not bottle it? Don’t make any bones on where it came from, but make it a novelty water and undercut the average cost of other waters. Just call it, “Chicago Pride” or something. Put in a blurb that Chicago has the best tap water, and so it’s being bottled as an environmentally friendly alternative to normal bottled water which depletes aquifers.

Then, just pay the city the going rate for fucking tap water and sell it.


#18

Pretty sure that’s what a majority of bottled water companies already do, just not from Chicago aquifers.


#19

lol. 6 quadrillion gallons worth of “aquifer”.

But yeah, the hook is to make no bones about it and make it about the City not some BS spring. Straight up filtered lake michigan water. Novelty + Cheaper + good taste probably would make it sell just fine, even though it doesn’t pretend to be anything but tap water.


#20

I think I’ll be the only one to approve of this merger, Amazon already sells food to begin with, in the long run it’ll cut competition but it helps innovate the industry even by just a bit, it’s up to everyone else in the industry to get creative which will hopefully reduce prices (although i doubt it)