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Amazon announced on Friday that it will acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, giving the online retail titan a large store network and a foothold in the $600 billion US grocery industry, Business Insider reports.
The massive acquisition raises the possibility that Amazon could disrupt both the grocery market and the in-store shopping experience more broadly.
Whole Foods’ 465 stores in North America and the UK will give Amazon the brick-and-mortar presence it needs to succeed in grocery retail. While Amazon has been building up its AmazonFresh online grocery delivery service, it needs a physical presence to truly tackle the grocery segment, as online grocery sales still only make about 4% of the total US market, according to Nielsen.