"Whole Foods Market will continue to operate stores under the Whole Foods Market brand and source from trusted vendors and partners around the world", Amazon said in a press release.
Amazon already offers a home delivery service for groceries in certain markets.
The Journal said buying Whole Foods allows Amazon to quickly grab a bigger portion of the estimated $674 billion USA market for edible groceries, according to consulting firm Kantar Retail.
A Moody's analyst described the Amazon-Whole Foods deal as a "transformative transaction, not just for food retail, but for retail in general".
"We believe it presents an incredible opportunity to take Whole Foods Market's mission and objective to new levels and will create significant value for our stakeholders - including you, our most loyal customers".
-Amazon. Investors like the deal and think it will be good for the online retail giant, which has been expanding its grocery offerings. He says having this powerful partner will put Whole Foods far ahead of its competitors.
The announcement of Amazon's largest acquisition yet sent stock prices for major grocery chains tanking Friday morning.
Amazon is considering extending the cost-cutting effort with the no-checkout technology it's developing at its Seattle convenience store, "AmazonGo", according to the person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named because the plans are private.
Amazon's shares were up 3 percent at $993.40, adding more than $14 billion to its market capitalization.
Hauptman said millenials will likely change how food stores market and sell their products. To put the Whole Foods purchase price into some kind of context: Sainsbury's is now valued at £5.5bn and has over 1400 United Kingdom stores.
"Amazon is really is trying to get into the grocery market, and they're not only looking to do that online, but they're looking to do that in the traditional retail brick-and-mortar market", Hurley said in an interview. Certainly, it would appear to Cantillon that Bezos sees the future as slightly more nuanced than the vista of couch-bound online shoppers ordering everything from fast food to films online.
Shares of Amazon were trading at $988.52 in pre-market trading, a 2.53% jump, while Whole Foods shares were down 6.74% at $33.06.
Amazon could also get a better picture of customers by marrying data from Amazon and Whole Foods' loyalty programs.
"The entry of the king of web retail into the food space has to rattle the other companies", said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network. They demanded changes. Founder and CEO John Mackey told Texas Monthly that they were greedy bastards.