Retailers quaking as Amazon embraces bricks and mortar

Employees ring up customers at the checkout counter of a Whole Foods Market

"We are always concerned when there is some loss of brick-and-mortar stores out there", Mullins said after just hearing of the news early Friday. In theory, the huge customer bases these Wal-Mart stores draw takes traffic away from smaller retailers.

The online giant a year ago declared its plans to open a physical grocery store called Amazon Go, a market without cashiers where consumers would be automatically charged based on the items they placed into their shopping bags.

"The ramifications for all of retail are seismic - not just retailers that sell grocery, but for everyone", Chuck Grom of Gordon Haskett said.

Whole Foods Market's share price rose more than 29% on Friday.

In a news release, Amazon said it would acquire the upscale supermarket chain for $42 a share in an all-cash transaction that includes that company's net debt, Efe news reported.

Shares of the grocer were trading at $US33.06 a share before the deal was announced, so the deal represents a 27% premium on its closing price yesterday. On Friday, WalMart announced it is buying men's online clothing retailer Bonobos for $310 million.

A former grocery expert at Amazon predicted that the chain, nicknamed "Whole Paycheck", would add a selection of discounted food and build out non-grocery areas within stores, particularly for pharmacy and Amazon devices.

Amazon says in a statement that it has "no plans to use the technology developed for Amazon Go to automate the jobs of cashiers at Whole Foods".

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"I'm excited to see maybe if they do some kind of thing with Prime now and Whole Foods, that would be interesting to me", Hiddeman said. Amazon also offers grocery shipments elsewhere, but that's tough with perishable foods.

SELYUKH: For Amazon, the deal gives it a physical presence in hundreds of locations but also places Amazon smack in the middle of a massive consumer goods market - the stuff people buy over and over again for their entire lives.

Whole Foods wove its way into the crowded and competitive Dayton grocers market in 2015, with its first Dayton-area store, in Washington Twp.at 1050 Miamisburg-Centerville Road.

Google Shopping: Google also have ties with Whole Foods, and one possibility with the recent Amazon acquisition is transferring deliveries to Amazon, and far away from Google.

Amazon said that it won't change the Whole Foods Market brand and stores will continue to operate under the same brand name.

WalMart bought Jet, an ecommerce site trying to compete with Amazon, for $3.3 billion in 2016. (NASDAQ:WFM) in a deal valued at around $13.7 billion. "If shoppers are going to allow a company, a retailer, to pick their meat, their produce and their seafood, Whole Foods is probably at the top of the list of retailers with the best reputation across the country".

Such changes may be a long way off, and Amazon has plenty of time to change its strategy, with the $13.7 billion deal not expected to close until the second half of the year. Amazon's move aims at the heart of the Bentonville, Arkansas-based retail giant's business - groceries, which account for 56 percent of Wal-Mart's $486 billion in revenue for the year ending January 31. It has expanded from a book seller into a merchant of almost all consumer products, as well as producing videos. Whole Foods itself had launched an offshoot chain named after its "365" private label brand in a nod to the popularity of no-frills chains.

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