Amazon said it would buy the natural and organic foods supermarket chain for $42 per share in an all-cash deal valued at about $13.7 billion. The deal is expected to close in the second half of this year.
Following the announcement, Amazon’s stock rose 3 percent as Whole Foods shares skyrocketed 28 percent.
Meanwhile, shares of large grocery chains dropped following the news, with traditional chains feared by Wall Street as being in trouble by Jeff Bezos’ powerhouse play.
Big-box retailers weren’t immune from the Amazon effect, either.
European grocers, including Sainsbury and Tesco, also sank on the deal announcement. Amazon announcement came as unexpected by many who follow the companies.
“The consolidation of [Amazon and Whole Foods] is likely to accelerate the trend we have already seen among Millennial consumers who have rejected traditional Big Food brands in favor of more authentic, trendy offerings,” Credit Suisse analyst Robert Moskow wrote in a note to clients.
“Amazon and Whole Foods are both quite good at creating brands of their own. As a result, the traditional brands may find themselves competing more directly with Whole Foods’ on-trend organic and natural brands than ever before.”
Needless to say, nobody is safe, including consumer packaged goods companies, Moskow went on.
Shares of Kellogg and General Mills, for example, were falling 2 percent and 3 percent, respectively, Friday.
In fact, one firm has created a “Death By Amazon Index,” tracking traditional retail companies’ performance compared to that of Amazon over the past five years.