The venture into the traditional grocery store market, which cost them $13.7 billion, is just another big step for furthering the online retail giant's place in the ever-changing health space.
Amazon is well on its way to dominating the health and wellness world. Last year, the e-commerce giant launched its very first meal-delivery kits and its grocery delivery service, AmazonFresh (available for Prime members). Then, they introduced its new high-tech grocery store experience, Amazon Go, where you can pick up and take whatever you want from a store, no checkout required. And with the invention of Alexa, they proved that robots can be amazing health coaches and can do wonders for your mental health. Still, no one expected its latest takeover—buying health food mega mart Whole Foods for a whopping 13.7 billion bucks.
The decision comes at a good time for Whole Foods, as the company has been struggling to boost its stock value for more than a year, according to The New York Times. The announcement comes just a couple months after Whole Foods announced plans to lower prices and make the grocery store more "mainstream," partially in an effort to please customers who felt shopping at the upscale grocery store simply wasn't worth their "Whole Paycheck."
As of right now, the biggest question on everyone's mind is this: Does Amazon plan to use its Amazon Go technology to transform Whole Foods stores into a more high-tech, no-checkout experience? Currently, the answer seems to be no. "Whole Foods Market has been satisfying, delighting, and nourishing customers for nearly four decades—they're doing an amazing job and we want that to continue," Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos told the The Washington Post. Read: Your experience in Whole Foods probably won't change much, at least for now.
So what *does* this billion dollar purchase really mean for you at the end of the day? Convenience. Amazon can now boost their selection of grocery items available through both its AmazonFresh and Prime Now services (which offers free two-hour delivery from local stores), saving you the hassle of a trip to the store to get that Whole Foods-specific item you can't live without. (And clearly, it will give them a competitive edge against other online grocery and meal delivery services.)
If Amazon can invent delivery drones, who knows what they have in mind for Whole Foods down the line. But it's clear that the venture into the traditional grocery store market is just another big step for furthering its place in the ever-changing health space.