Amazon has turned malls upside down, but had left grocery stores unscathed.
Amazon’s $13.7 billion purchase of Whole Foods means the supermarket, and retailing overall, will never be the same. Grocers will now have to contend with the incredibly rich and powerful competitor whose impact on retail has been so dramatic.
Department stores have shed 46% of their workers since 2001, a greater percentage of their jobs than coal mines or factories have lost over the same period. Store closing announcements are piling up at a record pace.
And retail bankruptcies large and small are up 30%, according to BankruptcyData.com. They have included well known names across many sectors: Gymboree, Sports Authority and Payless Shoes have all filed for bankruptcy within the last year.
The grocery industry hasn’t been immune — old-line supermarket chain A&P went bankrupt in 2015. But for the most part, threats to grocers has come from brick-and-mortar retailers entering the sector: Walmart (WMT), Target (TGT) and Costco (COST) are now major forces in grocery.
And while department stores, electronics chains and other retail sectors…