The news last week that Amazon made an offer to buy Whole Foods took a lot of people, myself included, by surprise.
I like the move by Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. It’s just another in a long line of bold moves he has made, such as Amazon Prime, Amazon Web Services, the Kindle, the Echo, the Amazon Phone, Zappos, Twitch, and possibly drone delivery. While not all of his ideas have been financial successes, a few have been wildly successful, generating more than enough revenue to cover the losses from the failures.
There has been a great deal of speculation as to what would happen to Whole Foods if the acquisition is finalized (there are rumors that there may be other buyers also interested in Whole Foods, so there could be a bidding war), but I am assuming it is going to happen.
So I thought it would be fun to make a few predictions as to what Whole Foods would look like a year after the acquisition, and how it would operate. I’ll then revisit this post in a year, and see how my predictions have held up.
So here I go…
- I guess my first prediction, already mentioned above, is that the deal will go through. I think Amazon would win any bidding war it got into. This prediction is a big one; if the deal falls through, then this blog post would fit in nicely with the vast majority of my previous posts, it will be completely meaningless.
- There will not be any massive layoffs (greater than 10%) of Whole Foods employees.
- Whole Foods’ prices will drop on average between 5-10%
- Whole Foods will develop a significant home delivery service, offering a plan like Prime, that will enable customers to get free home delivery if they are part of Whole Foods Prime. Some store employees would become part of the delivery team, helping Whole Foods to retain its employees.
- Whole Foods stores will also function as distribution warehouses for other goods sold by Amazon. Amazon lockers would be in place at Whole Foods stores, where customers could pick up their Amazon order on a more timely basis.
- Whole Foods will feature an Amazon products boutique within each of its stores, providing customers with the opportunity to learn about and to buy products such as the Kindle and the Echo
- The Whole Foods rewards program will expand to include special offers on Amazon products.
- Jeff Bezos will go vegan.
- John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods, will not become a billionaire.
- and looking way down the line, Whole Foods will be the first grocery store on the moon, thanks to Blue Origin, an aerospace manufacturer and spaceflight services company set up by Bezos
So there you have it, my predictions for Whole Foods. I’ve already put a note on my calendar a year from now to review where things stand at that point in time.
If all goes well, I’ll be able to have some vegan donuts delivered within an hour whenever the urge strikes.
And that’s why I’m really rooting for this merger.