Fri
Jun 16 2017
09:51 am

"Amazon and Whole Foods Market, Inc. today announced that they have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Amazon will acquire Whole Foods Market for $42 per share in an all-cash transaction valued at approximately $13.7 billion, including Whole Foods Market’s net debt."

Press release...

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bizgrrl's picture

Good question. Don't think

Good question. Don't think I've ever been in a Whole Foods Market. Guess this won't add to my Amazon purchases.

R. Neal's picture

After a week of selloff,

After a week of selloff, Amazon shares are up 3.6% this morning.

mjw's picture

Local delivery

Amazon is already delivering fresh groceries in a handful of markets. Now they can go wide.

BTW, did you know that Publix is already offering grocery delivery in Knoxville?

bizgrrl's picture

Wish we could get Publix

Wish we could get Publix delivery in Alcoa. However, the USA Today article spends a lot of time on the negatives, e.g. increased costs and prior negatives of the delivery company.

I still will hope for a Publix in Blount County. I'm okay to pick up my own groceries for now.

bizgrrl's picture

A story of grocery delivery in the NYC area.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Auto replenishment for purchases with low mind share

Wish we could get Publix delivery in Alcoa. However, the USA Today article spends a lot of time on the negatives, e.g. increased costs and prior negatives of the delivery company.

Page 7, Retail Industry Vision 2026:


Product purchases with low mind share, which are
routine purchases, are delivered automatically via auto
replenishment, saving consumers time and simplifying their
lives.

Don't bother your pretty little "mindshare" about it. They'll send you shit you didn't even order!

fischbobber's picture

Kroger

Your local Kroger is currently doing this locally and it's a big deal in their corporate structure. You call (over the app) in your order, pay with a credit card over the phone or internet, drive up at the appointed time and they load it in your car.

Their pickers are instructed to pick the highest quality items available (freshest produce, best looking cuts of meat etc.).

I believe that is the model Amazon will attempt to replicate.

If you try it, let us know. I'm curious as to how well it works.

Andy Axel's picture

They've also added

hundreds of depots to their supply chain, all placed in upper-income, thriving urban areas.

R. Neal's picture

Kroger already took a hit

Kroger already took a hit earlier in the week after a bad earnings report and lowered guidance. Today's news is sending it lower, down nearly 14% this morning, about 30% since Wednesday.

R. Neal's picture

Funny

bizgrrl's picture

+1

+1

Average Guy's picture

eBay Stores?

Remember those?

Maybe this is where Amazon is headed?

I've long wondered when the places that actually have tangible goods start going away, how will the virtual sellers continue to exist?

Will all the empty Sears, Kmarts and the like become part retail, part warehouse and part drone launching pads?

Interesting times.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Where Amazon (and all of retail) is headed

From the 2016 World Economic Forum, Shaping the Future of Retail for Consumer Industries (32 pages)

Page 6:


Impact of new technologies on the workforce:
Emerging technologies will drive efficiencies in store
labour and long-haul trucking, among others. This
increased productivity will likely lead to job losses and
change the nature of the industry’s workforce. As the
retail workforce evolves, industry leaders and policymakers
have to focus on reskilling the workforce,
developing partnerships with educational institutions
and developing new social contracts or benefits for the
workforce of the future
.

Can you say "universal basic income?"

Page 12:

Chart depicting "Current readiness levels of disruptive technologies and key enablers (AI, machine learning, robotics, etc.) to reach full readiness" indicates 5 of 8 disruptions are 2-5 years away, remaining 3 of 8 disruptions are 6-10 years away.

Page 15:

A new frontline workforce.
Many of retail’s traditional human interactions will be taken
care of by a digital workforce.

Anyway, you get the picture. At only 32 pages, just flip through it. Bezos was the darling of the Forum's retail session, you saw at one of those above links.

(The report cites 15 million Americans currently employed in retail.)

Tamara Shepherd's picture

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I've long wondered when the places that actually have tangible goods start going away, how will the virtual sellers continue to exist?

If you flip through that above link to "Shaping the Future of Retail..." you'll see that brick and mortar stores aren't presently expected to go away entirely.

They are expected to become much smaller, to employ few if any people (in favor of automation and robotics, I mean), and in some cases to rely on ecommerce for actual order fulfillment. Amazon's Prime Wardrobe, for example, lets customers try on clothes, but requires that they then order their purchases online.

Retailers are expected to some degree to shift manufacturing onsite, to the retailer's place of business, where 3D printing (especially featuring so-called "chainmail" technology allowing the printing of various goods with movable, interlocking parts) can instantly produce inventory onsite . Bezos is already opening stores of that nature, too.

Anyway, that retail union head I linked in my first post on this topic is right: From the manufacture and transport of consumer goods, right down to the marketing and ultimate delivery of them, none of Bezos' prototypes really requires any people.

Our continued existence is required only as consumers who can spend. Universal basic income, anybody?

Tamara Shepherd's picture

*

Tamara Shepherd's picture

No humans required

CNN, June 29: The real losers from the Amazon-Whole Foods merger (Editorial)


The Amazon-Whole Foods merger is not about improving customer service, products or choice, it is about destroying Whole Foods jobs through Amazon-style automation.

Amazon's very business model is to remove as many humans from all facets of production and service as possible. Just as Walmart's big-box model destroyed small businesses when it spread across the country, Amazon's automation model, if widely adopted, potentially poses a huge threat to America's 16-million-strong service and retail workforce.

If anyone doubts this vision, and what Amazon likely has in store for Whole Foods and the people who work there, observe that Amazon has already showed its hand by announcing its no-employees Amazon Go model.

...

Make no mistake, the American people, our families, our communities, and Whole Foods employees have a choice to make. Either we stand together and speak out, or let Amazon's values define a future where a chosen few are wealthy and millions struggle to find a real job.

That is not the America we believe in, even if it's the America Bezos seems desperate to create.

Author Marc Perrone is the president of the 1.3 million -member United Food and Commercial Workers International Union.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

No humans required (continued)

Tamara Shepherd's picture

No humans required (continued)

At the World Economic Forum, 2017: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos says we're living in "a golden age of AI"

Had a hiccup, though, when I read this Bezos and Musk link to discover what both had been up to over a "10 day stretch" this past spring:


Here's a look at the impressive run they're on:

Tuesday March 28

Amazon (AMZN, Tech30), not content with dominating e-commerce, announces two grocery stores in Seattle, where Amazon Prime members can pick up their groceries at a drive-through. It's a reminder of the company's interest in reinventing the grocery store experience, a huge potential market that could push Amazon toward being the first $1 trillion company. Amazon's stock closes at an all-time high.

Meanwhile, Musk promises details shortly on a new side project, Neuralink, that will merge human brains with computers, essentially making humans into cyborgs.

And this "side project" is necessary because...?!

(That second link is to CNN, so not that bizarro a news source?)

Tamara Shepherd's picture

Context

Per Pew Research (September 2016), retail employs over 10% of the U.S. workforce.

Tamara Shepherd's picture

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