Published: Wed, June 21, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Whole Foods CEO says brand's standards intact under Amazon

Whole Foods CEO says brand's standards intact under Amazon

Wholepeople.com, Whole Foods' e-commerce subsidiary, didn't end well: The company had hoped to take it public, but instead spun it off and took a $500,000 write-down.

At a town hall meeting, according to a transcript filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mackey told employees the company may create other formats that fall outside of Whole Foods standards.

Some Wall Street analysts are starting to wonder whether another retailer will come up with a higher offer and start a bidding war for the Whole Foods grocery chain. The firm, which owns 2.7% of Whole Foods' shares, joined activist investor Jana Partners this spring in pushing the company to explore a sale. That's a blow to rivals like Target and Wal-Mart, which boasted that physical as one thing they had over Amazon.

Packaged foods companies do need to think defensively about Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods.

"And she said, 'That's insane, '" John Mackey said at a town hall meeting on Friday, after Amazon announced it was buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion.

Spinning off a separate brand and using Amazon's technology and customer data, while leveraging Whole Foods' logistics infrastructure and knowledge of the grocery industry could help keep the grocer's flagship brand pure with its core customers while letting Amazon capitalize on its grocery ambitions.

Concerned Whole Foods shareholders who would like more information about their rights and potential remedies, including those who believe that the proposed transaction is unfair as to price or terms, may contact attorneys Amber Eck or Kathleen Herkenhoff at 619-342-8000, ambere@haelaw.com or kathleenh@haelaw.com. This was a savvy way to do that and it's expected that Whole Foods stores will be retrofitted to allow shoppers to buy online and pickup at their local store-a solution to the "last mile" expense of home delivery.

Amazon is feared to be planning a bloodbath at Whole Foods. Amazon, which made a splash past year with a checkout-free grocery store, has said it has no plans to automate the jobs of Whole Foods cashiers.

A positively ebullient Mackey continues to gush about Amazon, raving about their innovation and how good the merger will be for Whole Foods. About a year and a half ago, I dreamed that we merged with Amazon.

Amazon is known for taking the long view.

When Amazon bought the upscale grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, it immediately set off speculation about the changing nature of shopping.

Whole Foods now has 431 stores nationwide ― and it is a beloved option for organic produce and local products already.

Amazon would also look to change Whole Foods' inventory, introducing its own private-label products to replace items deemed too expensive to have mass appeal, the person with knowledge of the matter said.

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