Amazon has just announced the acquisition of the Bio Whole Foods Market chain for 13.7 billion dollars, gross of net supermarket debt.
The American e-commerce
giant is also aiming more decidedly at the "traditional" retail sector, albeit in a niche area: with about 450 outlets and 90,000 employees, Whole Foods Market is the leader in healthy food throughout the supply chain up to the end customer. The company's shelves contain 30,000 certified organic products and 13,500 certified non-GMO products.
This transaction is the most important large-scale overcoming to date of the boundaries between distribution made by clicks and electronic payments and distribution based on physical structures and products in the shopping trolley. In terms of dimensions and diversity of the two companies, the integration between Amazon and Whole Foods Market is the definitive demonstration of the trend of international retail towards so-called "unified commerce".
Jeff Bezos's comment on the transaction is as clear and obvious as could be expected regarding the strategic importance of a single customer experience. "This partnership presents an opportunity to maximise value for Whole Foods Market's shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers".