It is unclear how Amazon plans to integrate the organic grocer into its existing operations. However, according to the e-commerce giant, Whole Foods will continue to operate stores under the Whole Foods Market brand and source from its current partners around the world.
Speaking about the deal, John Mackey, Whole Foods Market Co-Founder and CEO, explained: “This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize 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.”
Since news of the deal broke, Whole Foods shares have risen by 1.3 percent.
Read more: Is A Whole Foods Takeover On The Cards?
At present both parties are keeping schtum about any concrete plans. But, during a meeting with Whole Foods employees after the deal was announced, Mackey revealed that he hoped Amazon would be able to help speed up the changes Whole Foods has already been pushing. These include its newly launched loyalty program and its cost-cutting initiatives.
But, while the high-profile takeover has left some commenters wondering what the long term future holds for Whole Foods, for Errol Schweizer, the former global grocery buyer for the brand, “the most important aspect of this deal is that this continues to validate that organic and free from foods are the most important food industry trends,” he told BevNet.
“Amazon is really betting on that these trends are the future. Organic is growing at close to double digits, it’s a $47 billion market. Free-from and additive free and non-GMO are huge market trends as well. So what Amazon is saying here is ‘we’re taking a bet on the future of food and Whole Foods really represents that,’” he added.