Published: Mon, June 19, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Can Amazon persuade enough people to buy fresh food online?

Can Amazon persuade enough people to buy fresh food online?

After the deal was announced on Friday, it raised its target price for Whole Foods to $45 from $40. This is how Wall Street enjoyed imagining Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, making the $13.7 billion (12.2 billion euros) deal that shook up the American economy. With its $14 billion purchase of grocery chain Whole Foods Market Inc, the largest e-commerce company announced its intention to take on Wal-Mart in the brick-and-mortar world. Blue Apron's $795 million in sales past year would be a rounding error at Amazon's size, but given that Blue Apron's sales are growing at a 40% clip, its market is unquestionably a worthwhile opportunity for Amazon to explore. COST, -7.19%, catch up in these categories, Whole Foods finds itself feeling pressure from investors.

"This sale exemplifies Amazon's influence over industrial real estate markets nationally but more so in New Jersey".

Most concern after the acquisition announcement was for Whole Foods' cashiers.

Founded in Texas in 1978, Whole Foods has been credited with bringing organic, health foods into the mainstream. Amazon is not much different.

However, analysts at United States investment bank Morgan Stanley said they think Friday's news has "both positive and negative implications for Ocado, the net impact of which is hard to assess at this stage".

Walmart has the financial wherewithal to buy Whole Foods. That could force other supermarkets to follow or lose customers, Astrachan said. But there are several hurdles to attracting low-income households for Amazon versus many brick-and-mortar retailers.

It was the latest - and largest - revelation in an intense competition across the $600 billion grocery sector, which has discount stores like Aldi and Lidl, established stores like Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and Kroger, and the e-commerce giant grappling for market share. Amazon first opened a series of brick-and-mortar bookstores in 2015. Since the available products, such as milk of meat, are perishable, they are kept fresh during shipping and are generally delivered within twelve hours if needed. "Focused on occasional renovation with very little true innovation", said Larry Light, CEO of the marketing consulting company Arcature. When they left the store, each of the items they picked out while inside would be charged to the credit card or balance Amazon had listed for the customer's online account.

Marc Lore, the founder who now runs Wal-Mart's e-commerce business after selling a startup to Amazon, told Reuters in an interview that Amazon's move does not change Wal-Mart's game plan.

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Bezos was quoted at a recent shareholders meeting as saying, "We can't rest on our laurels". Bezos was never above buying his way to the front of the line.

Amazon has a long history of acquisition.

This puts them in the position of looking for new sources of differentiation, and the partnership that Amazon offers is promising. From video and music streaming rights to Prime-exclusive items, the value of Amazon Prime continues to improve. Then AmazonFresh. Amazon Echo.

There's, of course, the price of Prime.

"It doesn't mean it works here in the same way, but you've got to get sharp on pricing", Stern said.

The one Amazon Go location opened past year in Seattle was a sort of alpha test, open only to Amazon employees, but the company said when they announced the idea that they would be opening more stores of the same type to the general public "in early 2017".

"I suspect they won't touch Woolies and Coles, because they won't let them in, but certainly something like Metcash, where they have a pretty strong distribution", says Mortimer.

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