Link to RetailDIVE article about Amazon acquiring Whole Foods:  http://www.retaildive.com/news/breaking-amazon-to-buy-whole-foods-in-137b-deal/445206/

My first reaction to this article was sorrow for the soon to be dead Whole Foods Market. This is a favorite place for my family to shop being vegetarian/vegans and whenever a multi-billion company buys a smaller company it generally means the end of the shopping experience that you came to know.  I have no doubt that this will be the case with this acquisition as well.  What makes Whole Foods great is the organic and environmentally friendly products they found and bought from up and coming new companies with new ideas and the produce (and meats for non-vegan/vegetarians) that came from local farms that was much fresher than what was available from other markets.  Clearly, this must change as you cannot mass-produce this formula and retain the integrity of that formula with the consumer.   This was already happening and causing problems for Whole Foods as they grew extremely fast and other supermarkets were beginning to cherry pick sales by offering some lower cost alternatives in new healthy food sections of their stores.

Enter the mega-giant Amazon with state-of-the-art distribution and logistics technology and methods and lots of cash reserves.   If the mission is limited to providing a better in-store experience with Amazon Go and improved pricing to compete in the retail grocery space with Wal-Mart and others grocery stores then this is probably going to be another Amazon failure of getting into a market they just do not understand.  (See article by Patrick McCarthy “8 Times Amazon Completely Failed to Hit the Mark”  http://www.dealerscope.com/slideshow/8-times-amazon-completely-failed-to-hit-the-mark/amazon-webpay/#slideshow

On the other hand, if the plan is to upgrade the in-store experience and supercharge the Whole Foods formula and deliver healthy foods and products right to your door every day then this could be the realization of the home grocery delivery paradigm that has yet to be effectively realized.   Amazon uniquely has the logistics and distribution expertise and technology and the near endless capital to cover losses in implementation until critical mass can be realized.   The timing is also right as the under 30 demographic wants to order online and have their groceries delivered so getting this right now means steady growth.

It remains to be seen if this is another corporate disaster or the beginning of a permanent change in how groceries are bought and delivered that will forever change the food industry.

-Randy Hujar