But despite the Whole Foods acquisition and, by extension, the potential technology Amazon could implement in brick-and-mortar outlets, the company said it now has no plans to automate the jobs of cashiers in Whole Foods stores after the acquisition.
"We want to assure you that Amazon shares Whole Foods Market's deep commitment to quality and customer service".
Online retail giant Amazon made a dramatic push into brick-and-mortar retail Friday with the almost $14 billion purchase of Austin-based organic grocery chain Whole Foods Market. Until now, Amazon has largely focused its grocery efforts around its Amazon Fresh subscription service, which promises quick food delivery for online orders.
Amazon's ownership will also likely result in lower prices at Whole Foods, whose expensive products earned it the nickname "Whole Paycheck".
"People tend to do what's easy and clicking on something on Amazon is so easy", Funari said.
Since its founding 23 years ago, Amazon.com has upended the business of selling books, music and just about everything else we consume - except food.
Amazon is a beast in the world of online retailers. Or someone who buys granola bars monthly from Whole Foods and paper towels every other week from Amazon might be offered the items in a single shipment, delivered to the door.
The grocer will continue to operate stores under the Whole Foods Market brand, the companies said. Seen here is the Whole Foods store on Valencia Blvd.in Santa Clarita. The items are logged electronically and applied to the customer's account, using an app on the customer's smartphone. In addition, Instacart has a number of advertising partnerships with consumer packaged goods companies that pay to reach out to Instacart customers as they're shopping digitally.
The acquisition, expected to close this year, is more than 10 times larger than what Amazon spent on its next-biggest deal, the purchase of online shoe retailer Zappos in 2009. It announced Friday that it's buying online men's clothing retailer Bonobos for $310 million in cash, following a string of online acquisitions including ModCloth and Moosejaw.
With a 9% stake, much of it accumulated relatively recently, Jana Partners was Whole Foods' second largest investor.
Whole Foods brick and mortar stores will remain open.
Whole Foods Market is a leading natural and organic foods supermarket and the first national "certified organic" grocer. "A lot of people will love that", said Whole Foods customer Brad Anderson.
Mackey will stay as CEO, and the headquarters will stay in Austin, Texas.