Does Amazon Own Whole Foods?

Amazon is one of the biggest companies in the world, operating in almost all parts of the world, and they are worth hundreds of billions of dollars.

Because of their size, they are always open to entering new markets or acquiring competitors in the markets they operate in.

Whole Foods was a starting point for Amazon to enter the supermarket industry.

This article will cover the relationship between Amazon and Whole Foods. See if Amazon owns Whole Foods, Whole Foods’ history of owners, the massive changes, and other details.

Does Amazon Own Whole Foods
Does Amazon Own Whole Foods?

Are Whole Foods Owned By Amazon?

Yes, as of 2024, Whole Foods is owned by Amazon. Amazon bought Whole Foods on August 28, 2017, with a record-breaking $13.7 billion purchase.

It was the biggest acquisition for Amazon at the time to purchase Whole Foods.

There are several reasons why Amazon bought Whole Foods. After they bought the company, there were many structural changes to the company.

This change accommodated Amazon’s business and added a new column to Amazon’s line of business, which was physical stores. Amazon’s acquistion also changed the image of Whole Foods for being too expensive.


Why Did Amazon Buy Whole Foods?

There are a couple of different reasons why Amazon bought the company.

The biggest reason for Amazon was to boost its brick-and-mortar presence in the United States and other countries.

It also helped Whole Foods as the company was going through financial struggles at the time.

  • Physical retail footprint: Amazon might be an online retailer, but it also wanted to get its foot in the physical commerce world. They have an Amazon Go system that works without employees and allows you to purchase items without interaction. Whole Foods acquisition gave Amazon over 400 locations to play with.
  • Quicker delivery: 400 new locations mean new fulfillment centers, as Amazon is thinking of using some of these locations for this. This will allow Amazon to quickly deliver packages to locations where they do not have a fulfillment service presence. Amazon is also providing Amazon Delivery Franchises to allow them quicker delivery.
  •  New competitive edge: AmazonFresh’s service allows their customers to shop for groceries. Now, Amazon can add Whole Foods’ products to this service and deliver them faster and fresher than before. This creates a brand-new competitive edge for the company. They also bought over 500 stores and added even more through this acquisition. This move helped Amazon to find its landscape quicker in the massive grocery store market.

Who Owned Whole Foods Before Amazon?

Before Amazon bought Whole Foods, they were a public company. They had their IPO in 1992 and raised $28 million, which valued the company at $100 million.

Over time, their share prices increased by individual and institutional investors buying the stock of the company.

This meant that the company’s owners also changed frequently due to buying and selling the stock.

At the time that Amazon acquired the company, a couple of individual and institutional investors owned the majority of the shares.

NameTypeNo. of Shares
VanguardInstitutional30.9 million
Jana PartnersInstitutional26 million
Parnassus InvestmentsInstitutional7.8 million
MackeyInsider/Individual980,000
Jonathan SokoloffInsider/Individual914,000
Glenda FlanaganInsider/Individual236,400

When Amazon bought Whole Foods, they took the company private. This meant that the $13.7 billion they paid went to the stock owners to buy back all the available shares on the market.

Now, Amazon controls 99% of Whole Foods, and the corporation still owns 1%, according to a report by Numerator.


What Changed After The Purchase?

Ever since Amazon acquired Whole Foods, they changed a lot of stuff here and there with the grocery chain’s stores.

They added quite a lot of new systems, one of which is the checkout technology, and they managed to add this to all of their over 500 stores. This led to a lower workforce, which allowed them to cut back on costs.

When they were able to cut back on these costs, these helped Whole Foods’ bad-shaped economy.

This allowed them to lower their prices in all their stores. In addition, they opened even more stores and one store that is dedicated to fulfilling orders.

That allows both Amazon and Whole Foods to deliver at a short time interval.

This was all on the customer side; Amazon also changed some of the corporate things, such as the suppliers.

They centralized some of the operations of Whole Foods, moving those operations to their headquarters in Texas.

They put even more emphasis on helping local producers, sourcing their products from locals.

To better understand whether Amazon owns Whole Foods, it is important to delve into the topic of the Whole Foods franchise and how it relates to the ownership discussed in the article.


Conclusion

In conclusion, Amazon currently owns Whole Foods as of 2024. They acquired Whole Foods on August 28, 2017, for $13.7 billion.

At the time, this was Amazon’s biggest acquisition to date. Before Amazon, Whole Foods was a public company, and it was owned by both institutional and individual investors.

Amazon bought Whole Foods to start in a new market with physical grocery stores. This helped them to get a competitive edge.


FAQ

Does Amazon still own Whole Foods?

Yes. Amazon acquired the company in 2017, and they still own it as of 2024. They used Whole Foods to enter a new market.

How much did Amazon spend on Whole Foods?

According to the official documents, Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. Whole Foods’ stocks soared after the purchase was officially confirmed.

How big was Whole Foods before Amazon bought them?

Whole Foods currently has over 500 stores and operates internationally. Before Amazon bought Whole Foods, it had over 400 stores.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whole_Foods_Market

Leave a Comment