Amazon continued to make inroads into the grocery industry on Friday by announcing it will spend $13.7 billion to acquire the upscale grocery store chain Whole Foods Market.
“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 Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos in a press release. “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.”
It’s a move that could be felt by Eastside shoppers. Whole Foods Market is based in Austin, Texas, and operates 10 stores in Washington state. Three stores are located on the Eastside: two in Bellevue (including Bellevue Square 365), and one in Redmond. Amazon itself also has a strong Eastside presence.
Amazon already offers Amazon Fresh, a service that allows customers to order groceries online for home delivery; and Amazon Go, brick-and-mortar stores where customers can avoid checkout lines by paying for their groceries using an app on their smartphones. The buzz among industry experts is the Whole Foods acquisition could allow Amazon to improve its distribution capabilities and increase its offerings of healthy and organic foods.