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Amazon's Whole Foods Acquisition: Did It Live Up To The Hype?

Amazon's Whole Foods Acquisition: Did It Live Up To The Hype?

One full year has passed since, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) announced its acquisition of upscale grocer Whole Foods in a $13.7-billion deal.

What Was Said Then

Here is a roundup of CNBC's compilation of expert commentary following the acquisition.

CNBC's Jim Cramer said Amazon's acquisition is a "game changer" for the entire grocery business.

CNBC's David Faber said Amazon took an "enormous step" in spending nearly $14 billion, far beyond the size of any other deal it has closed. 

Notable retail expert Jan Kniffen said that instead of testing a grocery concept at a few retail locations, Amazon is the owner of a "real business."

Professor Scott Galloway of NYU Stern said Amazon's acquisition is the "beginning of the end of traditional retail."

Apparel executive Rick Helfenbein said the acquisition is "exciting and encouraging" and "absolutely monumental."

Supermarket executive Stew Leonard Jr. said Amazon's acquisition is "one of the most dramatic events" he has seen in four decades working in the grocery business.

One Year Later: Where's The Hype Now?

Retail expert Kniffen returned to CNBC Friday and offered a view that goes against the optimism and excitement expressed by experts a year ago. Simply put, "not much has happened so far" with Whole Foods' business, but there have been some changes in the grocery industry as a whole, Kniffen said.

Whole Foods' business has "gotten worse" since the sale amid supply chain disruptions in its fresh produce, Kniffen said. 

In reaction to Amazon's move into the grocery sector, rivals made a push into online options, including shipping to home, Kniffen said. It's competitors like Walmart Inc (NYSE: WMT), which offers pickup options in 2,700 stores, and Kroger Co (NYSE: KR), which acquired Home Chef, that are different one year later.

Amazon and Whole Foods would still need another 1,500 physical stores to "be competitive" against industry titan Walmart,Kniffen said, suggesting the company may need to make another acquisition in the sector. 

Related Links:

Could Amazon Bring Its Cashierless 'Go' Store Concept To Whole Foods?

One Secret Behind The Whole Foods Deal: Amazon Wants To Sell You All The Alcohol

Photo by ChadPerez49/Wikimedia. 


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