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Amazon Wants To Eat Whole Foods, And Put Retail In A Jam46:51Download

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With guest host Jane Clayson.

“Alexa, I want to order a pound of kale.” We’ll unpack Amazon’s deal for Whole Foods and the future of retail.

A shopper leaves a Whole Foods Market in Northbrook, Ill., Saturday, June 17, 2017. Amazon is buying Whole Foods in a deal valued at about $13.7 billion, a strong move to expand its growing reach into groceries. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)
A shopper leaves a Whole Foods Market in Northbrook, Ill., Saturday, June 17, 2017. Amazon is buying Whole Foods in a deal valued at about $13.7 billion, a strong move to expand its growing reach into groceries. (Nam Y. Huh/AP)

Amazon shook the earth last week with a $13.7 billion move to buy Whole Foods. It would give the online juggernaut an immediate real estate footprint – over 400 physical stores – and expand the company’s foothold in the food business. It’s touted as a game-changer for groceries, but it could also rock the struggling retail industry. This hour On Point: Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods and the future of retail.

Guests

Lauren Hirsch, mergers and acquisitions correspondent for Reuters. (@LaurenSHirsch)

Rod Sides, vice chairman and U.S. leader in retail and distribution for Deloitte. (@RodSides)

Howard Davidowitz, retail industry consultant. Founder and chairman, Davidowitz and Associates.

From The Reading List

Reuters: Amazon to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, wielding online might in brick-and-mortar world — "Amazon used aggressive pricing to become an e-commerce retail juggernaut and has recently been experimenting with brick-and-mortar outlets. It will take over a natural and organic grocer pioneer with 456 stores, a mecca for young, high-end shoppers, that has been struggling to rein in prices and integrate technology."

WIRED: Amazon Is About To Transform How You Buy Groceries — "Although the deal surprised a lot of people, the e-commerce giant has long wanted to figure out the online groceries game. It started testing delivery concepts in August 2007, when it unveiled Amazon Fresh—delivering produce and pantry staples through its fulfillment centers. Yet even after a decade—eons in Silicon Valley time—it's still trying. Turns out, the instant gratification business doesn't quite work with fresh food."

USA Today: Amazon-Whole Foods deal could mean new phase of retail — "Amazon’s offer to buy Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion could usher in a new phase of retail, with the potential for hybrid stores and an increasingly fluid sense of where goods come from and how they get to consumers. 'What we're seeing today is the evolution of retail. This is a shot across the bow,' said Robert Hetu, a research director for retail technology with Gartner."

Twitter Milks The Amazon-Whole Foods Deal

This program aired on June 20, 2017.

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