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Blue Apron Pursues I.P.O. as Amazon Looms Over Industry

Even as Amazon’s $13.4 billion bid for Whole Foods threatens to shake up food retailing, Blue Apron, a New York-based meal-delivery service, is setting its sights on a stock market debut.

Yet its prospective investors are aware that Blue Apron is doing so as Amazon, the colossus of e-commerce, may be changing the nature of food shopping altogether. Analysts have speculated endlessly about what Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, intends to do should he complete the blockbuster deal for Whole Foods.

40 Other Related Articles

Wall Street Jurnal -
The big lesson from Amazon and Whole Foods: Disruptive competition comes out of nowhere

Vivek Wadhwa is a Distinguished Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University Engineering at Silicon Valley and the author of “The Driver in the Driverless Car: How Our Technology Choices Will Create the Future”.

Its proposed acquisition of Whole Foods WFM, +0.96%   sees Amazon literally breaking the barriers between the digital and physical realms. This is the type of disruption we will see in almost every industry over the next decade, as technologies advance and converge and turn the incumbents into toast.


Global News -
1-click groceries How Amazon will likely change the way we buy food

Amazon generally muscles its way into new markets with cut-throat prices, but don’t expect that to happen for groceries, at least in the short-term.

Amazon’s same-day online grocery service, AmazonFresh, is only available in a few markets, even in the U.S.. Consumers north of the border will probably have to wait a while before being able to try whatever it is Amazon has in mind, said Bonno. WATCH: Woman named Alexa Seary says it’s ‘ironic’ she has same names as Amazon, Apple bots. Whole Foods has over 460 stores, but only a handful of them in Canada.


NBC News -
So Amazon bought Whole Foods: Will my groceries be cheaper now?

And new risks — for grocers following Amazon’s surprise purchase of Whole Foods, but they also say there is a clear winner here: Shoppers.

Brendan Witcher, principal analyst of digital business strategy at Forrester Research, called Whole Foods the “crown jewel” of an evolving retail strategy that incorporates other emerging and experimental shopping methods including Amazon Fresh delivery, checkout-free Amazon Go and voice-powered ordering through virtual assistant Alexa. “You really can’t do grocery efficiently without the physical stores,” Witcher said.


Wall Street Jurnal -
Why Amazon’s Next Target Might be Grubhub

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Grubhub, meanwhile, would be able to tap into Amazon’s Prime member base to gain new users, which could help as it tries to expand into new cities. Turner thinks Amazon might be willing to pay about $55 a share for Grubhub, 22% higher than its recent price of $45.


CBS News -
Amazon's fresh food hurdle: Getting people to buy online

Can Amazon (AMZN), the company that persuaded people to buy ever more items online, win enough of them over to having their fresh groceries arrive in an Amazon box?

Amazon just launched two grocery pickups kiosks in Seattle that allow its Amazon Prime customers to buy online and pick things up in as little as 15 minutes instead of having them delivered. And grocery may take a middle path, says Kimberly Scott, a portfolio manager at the Ivy Mid Cap Growth Fund, which counts Whole Foods stock as one of its biggest investments.


The Week -
Amazon eats the world

It's part of a much larger battle: Amazon dominates huge swaths of online retail, with a market value larger than the next 12 biggest traditional retailers combined.

Should his company ever get into real estate, Amazon could literally become the real-life Buy-N-Large, and we could all live our entire lives under its corporate auspices.


Wall Street Jurnal -
What the ‘Amazon effect’ could do to prices at Whole Foods

Whole Foods is known for its pricey kale and asparagus water, but with Amazon AMZN, +2.44%  as its new parent company that may change.

Whole Foods WFM, +29.10%  stores will continue to operate as they are, but the deal has analysts and shoppers wondering — and hoping — for lower prices. “Amazon will take a sledgehammer to pricing strategies that Whole Foods has had in the past,” said Mark Hamrick, a senior economic analyst at personal-finance site Bankrate.com.


Wall Street Jurnal -
Here’s one major way Amazon could lure more shoppers to Whole Foods

Online retailer Amazon AMZN, +2.44%  announced Friday it is buying the grocery store chain Whole Foods WFM, +29.10%  for $13.7 billion, tanking grocery stocks and making Amazon’s chief executive Jeff Bezos some $2.75 billion richer.

If the company extended cashback rewards to purchases at Whole Foods, that could add up for the grocer’s loyalists, said Robin Saks Frankel, a credit card analyst at Bankrate.com, a personal finance company.


Reuters -
With Whole Foods, Amazon on collision course with Wal-Mart

Michelle Grant, head of retailing at market research firm Euromonitor, said Amazon could use an obscure part of the Whole Foods portfolio - Whole Foods 365 - to lure Wal-Mart shoppers.

Ladd, who helped with AmazonFresh's global expansion and now is a supply chain consultant, said an Amazon-owned Whole Foods also likely will offer in-car pickup of online purchases, and home delivery from Whole Foods stores, add pharmacies and showcase Amazon devices inside the stores.


Wall Street Jurnal -
Amazon to Buy Whole Foods for $13.7 Billion

Inc. said on Friday it would buy Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion, including debt, instantly transforming the online giant into a major player in the bricks-and-mortar retail sector it has spent years upending.

Amazon will pay $42 a share for Whole Foods, valuing the grocer at a 27% premium to its closing price Thursday, or $13.7 billion including debt. The process was influenced by Amazon’s own plans to build out a network that would have competed against Whole Foods, the people added.


New York Times -
In Whole Foods, Bezos Gets a Sustainably Sourced Guinea Pig

The best way to think of this deal is to look at Whole Foods as a kind of guinea pig for Amazon — a pricey, organically sourced one, perhaps, but a guinea pig all the same.

It was no surprise that Amazon’s deal to buy Whole Foods for $13.4 billion generated many fantastical predictions: For instance, Amazon could use every Whole Foods store as a distribution center or even a drone-delivery launchpad, with every order summoned by Alexa, the company’s voice assistant, creating a kind of “frictionless” retail experience that would hasten its plan to — what else? — take over the world.


New York Times -
Rooted in Counterculture, Whole Foods’ Founder Finds an Unlikely Refuge

Since John Mackey co-founded a precursor to Whole Foods in 1978, he has taken a hands-on management approach to the organic grocery chain.

From its brief investment in Whole Foods, Jana Partners, according to data compiled by Bloomberg, stands to make about $301 million.


New York Times -
Amazon Deal for Whole Foods Starts a Supermarket War

Once a pioneer of the organic foods movement, Whole Foods has more recently struggled to shed its image as too pricey, too upscale and too out-of-touch with customers who want more natural foods at more affordable prices.

Armed with giant warehouses, shopper data, the latest technology and nearly endless funds — and now with Whole Foods’ hundreds of physical stores — Amazon is poised to reshape an $800 billion grocery market that is already undergoing many changes.


LA Times -
Amazon is buying more than Whole Foods — it's getting 460 stores it can turn into warehouses and showrooms

By acquiring Whole Foods, Amazon is buying not just an established, upscale supermarket brand, but also a vast distribution network of warehouses and more than 460 stores worldwide — replete with back rooms and cold storage — in some of the most affluent ZIP codes in America.

“Ultimately, we see the deal allowing Amazon to take further share of its customer’s wallet and see a large opportunity to leverage many of its technologies to grow and optimize the Whole Foods business. We are also highly confident that Amazon will leverage the new store footprint for much more than just selling groceries,” said Daniel Salmon, an analyst for BMO Capital Markets.


LA Times -
Amazon shakes up the grocery business with its $13.7-billion deal to buy Whole Foods

Drones may not be on the drawing board at the moment, but Whole Foods could enable Amazon to use the technology it’s developing for more grocery deliveries, a more seamless checkout experience and stronger customer tie-ins between its online presence and its bricks-and-mortar grocery stores.

Inc. dropped a bombshell Friday on the U.S. grocery industry by agreeing to buy Whole Foods Market Inc. for $13.7 billion, including net debt.


LA Times -
Full coverage: Amazon is buying Whole Foods

By acquiring Whole Foods, Amazon is buying not just an established, upscale supermarket brand, but also a vast distribution network of warehouses and more than 460 stores worldwide — replete with back rooms and cold storage — in some of the most affluent ZIP codes in America.

Amazon said it agreed to pay $42 a share for Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods, which operates 460 stores in the United States, Canada and Britain, including about 85 in California, its biggest market.


Washington Post -
Amazon has a patent to keep you from comparison shopping while you’re in its stores

Amazon was awarded a patent May 30 that could help it choke off a common issue faced by many physical stores: Customers’ use of smartphones to compare prices even as they walk around a shop.

Amazon now has the technology to prevent that type of behavior when customers enter any of its physical stores and log onto the WiFi networks there. Titled “Physical Store Online Shopping Control,” Amazon’s patent describes a system that can identify a customer’s Internet traffic and sense when the smartphone user is trying to access a competitor’s website.


Washington Post -
People are worried Amazon will replace Whole Foods workers with robots

Whole Foods is known for its human touch: smiling cashiers, bakers offering free samples, baristas pouring kombucha on tap.

Unlike employees at other large grocery chains, Whole Foods workers are not unionized — chief executive John Mackey has said the company is not “anti-union” but “beyond unions” — and the union representing grocery workers said the merger puts those employees at risk. “Amazon’s brutal vision for retail is one where automation replaces good jobs,” Marc Perrone, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, said in a statement Friday.


CBS News -
Amazon swallows Whole Foods, and supermarkets blanch

Amazon and Whole Foods combined would become the seventh-largest U.S. food retailer, topping Ahold Delhaize (ADRNY), the Netherlands-based parent company of Stop & Shop and Giant.

And adds even more competitive pressure on incumbent grocers that have lost market share to discounters such as Aldi, Costco (COST) and the dollar stores in recent years.


Wall Street Jurnal -
As Amazon goes big in brick and mortar, it has tech to fight the monster it created

Inc. gears up for a much bigger brick-and-mortar retail presence with its $13.7 billion deal for Whole Foods Market Inc., it comes armed to fight the monster it created: online price comparisons.

It’s scary to realize that Amazon may soon be gathering as much data on its consumers now as Alphabet’s Google Inc. Amazon is making a huge bet that it will be able to succeed in the tough arena of brick-and-mortar retail if it is armed with better technology and huge amounts of data.


Wall Street Jurnal -
Amazon and Groceries: A Long Time Coming

Much more often, encourages them to join Amazon Prime, and gets them to use their Amazon Echos to make shopping lists and order groceries.

Customers place orders for groceries online and can have them delivered to their homes as early as later that day, or else they can drive to an AmazonFresh Pickup location and simply load the groceries into their car. Starting in 2008, Amazon began offering a grocery delivery service called AmazonFresh in a growing number of cities in North America and Europe.


Reuters -
Amazon moves into real-world stores with $13.7 billion Whole Foods deal

Whole Foods has posted seven straight quarterly sales declines at established stores and had overhauled its board of directors in the face of pressure from activist hedge fund Jana Partners LLC.. "I think that this takes all of the pressure off Whole Foods and gives Whole Foods the opportunity to revitalize that business and, of course, it stems the criticism from all of these activist investors," said Neil Saunders, managing director of GlobalData Retail in New York.


Wall Street Jurnal -
Walmart Fights Back: An Acquisition Today You Might Have Missed

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Walmart bought Jet.com for $3.3 billion last fall in addition to multiple smaller online-only retailers this year including MooseJaw, ShoeBuy, and ModCloth. Now it’s adding Bonobos, which started out in 2007 selling men’s pants online but has added shirts and other clothing lines and opened many “Guideshop” locations, where customers can go try on Bonobos apparel before ordering online.


Wall Street Jurnal -
Amazon’s ability to dominate multiple industries scares competitors like Netflix

Amazon has been able to gauge what consumers want, what they pay for on a regular or semiregular basis, and then makes the process to get it as easy as a click of a button.

Wedbush analyst Michael Pachter said where consumers may have been skeptical of Amazon’s initial entry Amazon Fresh, acquiring a quality and trusted brand in Whole Foods gives Amazon the know how and consumers the peace of mind.


The Guardian -
Amazon to buy Whole Foods Market in $13.7bn deal

Amazon, the world’s most powerful online retailer, has taken a giant stride into traditional retailing, spending $13.7bn

John Mackey, Whole Foods co-founder and chief executive, said: “This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers.”


CBS News -
Amazon buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion

Whole Foods (WFM) had been under pressure from investor Jana Partners, a hedge fund that lobbied for the high-end grocer to seek a buyer to reverse declining share price.

"This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market's shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers," Whole Foods CEO John Mackey said in a release.


Wall Street Jurnal -
The Day That Changed Retail

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For years, Amazon watchers have wondered when founder and CEO Jeff Bezos would pull the trigger on a broader plan to remake the retail landscape.


Global News -
Amazon enters grocery store market with $13-billion Whole Foods deal

Amazon is buying Whole Foods in a deal valued at about $13.7 billion, a stunning move into brick-and-mortar retail that sets the stage for more radical store experimentation and intensified competition with grocery rivals.

The deal unites the online juggernaut with the grocery store chain that fell behind as the organic and natural foods it helped popularize expanded to more locations and shoppers found “good enough” alternatives.


Wall Street Jurnal -
Why I hate grocery shopping — and what Amazon can do to make me stop hating it

After all, Amazon already has a huge nationwide distribution network, a fledgling parcel-delivery plan and now, with Whole Foods by its side, an army of modern grocery stores in busy urban areas with lots of well-to-do, tech-savvy customers eager to try out a new approach to shopping.

The company’s shock deal to buy Whole Foods promises to do for groceries what Amazon AMZN, +2.97%  did for books: Make shopping fast and simple for the widest possible array of goods.


New York Times -
The Amazon-Walmart Showdown That Explains the Modern Economy

More and more businesses in the modern economy, rather than reflecting those diminishing returns to scale, show positive returns to scale: The biggest companies have a huge advantage over smaller players.

What isn’t is this: The decision by Amazon and Walmart to compete for my grocery business — as well as for space in my closet — are tiny battles in a war to dominate a changing global economy. How much of that is because of shifting technology — as opposed to changing corporate behavior, or loose antitrust policy — is an open debate.


BBC -
Amazon to buy Whole Foods for $13.7bn

Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos said: "Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy. "Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for nearly four decades - they're doing an amazing job and we want that to continue."

Whole Foods boss John Mackey said: "This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market's shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers."


New York Times -
Amazon to Buy Whole Foods in $13.4 Billion Deal

Amazon said on Friday that it had agreed to buy the upscale grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.4 billion, as the online retailer looks to conquer new territory in the supermarket aisle.

Amazon has no plans now to use the technology it developed for Amazon Go to automate the jobs of cashiers at Whole Foods, said Drew Herdener, a spokesman for Amazon. In one of the internet retailer’s more notable bricks and mortar experiments, a convenience store in Seattle called Amazon Go uses a combination of sensors and cameras to automatically keep track of the items shoppers put into their baskets, letting them simply walk out of stores without the need for cashiers.


Fox News -
Amazon to buy Whole Foods in $13.7B deal

E-commerce giant Amazon (AMZN) announced Friday it will snap up struggling grocery chain Whole Foods Market (WFM) for $42 per share in an all-cash deal valued about $13.7 billion including debt.

“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods, and they make it fun to eat healthy,” said Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in a statement. “Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting and nourishing customers for nearly four decades – they’re doing an amazing job and we want that to continue.”


New York Times -
Walmart to Buy Bonobos, Men’s Wear Company, for $310 Million

“I saw Walmart acquire Jet and then ModCloth, and, I thought, they get the future of e-commerce is brands,” Mr. Dunn said in a telephone interview.

Less than a year later, Mr. Lore and his team have already begun transforming the way Walmart sells things online — and now have bought their most prominent retail brand to date. When the company bought Jet.com last year for $3.3 billion, it installed the Jet founder, Marc Lore, as its e-commerce guru and gave him a mandate to expand quickly.


CBS News -
Kroger is getting squeezed in crowded grocery aisles

Kroger may not be facing similar shareholder pressure, but it sure has its hands full trying to please grocery shoppers.

Kroger was thought to be holding its own in an increasingly cutthroat market, but earlier this year it reported its first decline in same-store sales (a key retail metric that tracks sales in stores open a year or more) in more than a decade. So did Walmart (WMT), the largest U.S. seller of groceries, and Target (TGT), which recently named a new head of its food retail business.


Wall Street Jurnal -
Asian markets perk up as stronger dollar boosts exports

Equity markets across Asia moved higher on Friday, shrugging off technology-led declines overnight in the U.S., as a stronger U.S. dollar boosted export stocks in the region.

Oil prices, along with gold and silver, were all casualties of the strengthening U.S. dollar, although oil prices took an extra hit after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries increased its forecast for U.S. oil production.


Reuters -
Snap sinks to IPO price for first time since market debut

Alibaba slipped under its IPO price 233 days after its stock market debut while Facebook dipped below its IPO price in its second day of trading.

Dipping below an IPO price is seen on Wall Street as a setback to be avoided by chief executives and their underwriters, but it is not uncommon for Silicon Valley companies whose market listings have been hyped to investors. Alibaba slipped under its IPO price 233 days after its stock market debut while Facebook dipped below its IPO price in its second day of trading.


Wall Street Jurnal -
How Amazon Shares Can Get to $1,100

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The new price target involves lots of assumptions and valuation math, but DiClemente’s takeaway is that Amazon is still growing into itself, with plenty of ways to fill outs its total “enterprise value” of $460 billion. (Amazon shares were down 1.4% Thursday, with investors seemingly taking a break from tech stocks.)


Wall Street Jurnal -
Why Lululemon Shares Could Jump 60%

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Investors have worried that Lululemon , which pioneered the athleisure trend, might suffer at the hands of its new, cheaper competitors. Barclays analyst Matthew McClintock thinks that Lululemon’s stock has been unfairly punished because of such concerns, and on Wednesday, he named the stock his new “top pick.”


Wall Street Jurnal -
Have We Reached Peak Fidget Spinner?

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One analyst says that spinner demand is trailing off, and the slowdown could be troublesome for discount retailer Five Below . Fidget spinners are all over the place these days, and that might be the problem.



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