Amazon Buys Whole Foods for $13.7 Billion to Move Into Grocery Delivery

Drones could one day carry your kale

The new one-two punch may knock grocery stores out. Sources: Getty Images, Amazon
Headshot of Lauren Johnson

Jeff Bezos’ world just got even bigger. Ecommerce giant Amazon has acquired organic grocery chain Whole Foods for $42 per share in a deal valued at $13.7 billion.

Whole Foods is Amazon’s biggest acquisition to date and shows how aggressively the Seattle-based player is broadening its delivery service, including food. In 2014, the company acquired video-game service Twitch for $970 million and also owns The Washington Post, which it purchased for $250 million in 2013.

“Millions of people love Whole Foods Market because they offer the best natural and organic foods and they make it fun to eat healthy,” said Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon, in a statement. “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 has been making moves into offline retail and sales for a few years, recently opening a bookstore in New York and a small grocery store dubbed Amazon Go in Seattle. The company has also invested significant money into a pilot drone delivery program, so it’s feasible to think that someday your Whole Foods order could be delivered via drone.

At any rate, it will be fascinating to see how Amazon’s algorithms that control price matching and recommendations play out for Whole Foods in the coming months.

According to Amazon, Whole Foods’ CEO and cofounder John Mackey will continue to run the grocery chain from its Austin, Texas, headquarters.

“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,” Mackey said in a statement.

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.