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Amazon shakes up retail with $13.7bn Whole Foods deal

Purchase sets the stage for 'transformative' retail experiments that could revolutionise how people buy groceries.

One of the world's biggest online consumer goods companies is getting even bigger.

Amazon is making a bold expansion into physical stores with a $13.7bn deal to buy US grocery chain, Whole Foods.

The move sets the stage for new retail experiments that could revolutionise how people buy groceries and other goods.

Charlie O'Shea, a Moody's lead retail analyst, told the Associated Press news agency that the deal could be "transformative, not just for food retail, but for retail in general".

The deal represents a dramatic turn in strategy for Amazon, which has offered food delivery through its AmazonFresh service for a decade, but has not made a major dent in the $700bn grocery market.

Whole Foods, known for its organic and specialty food will continue to operate stores under its brand and will continue to be led by cofounder and chief executive John Mackey, the two companies said.

The more than 460 Whole Foods stores in the United States, Canada and the UK could also be turned into distribution hubs - not just for delivering groceries, but also as pick-up centres for online orders.

The deal is the latest big move for Amazon, which grew from a small online bookseller in the 1990s to a global retail giant that delivers a wide range of goods and creates award-winning movies and television programmes.


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