Two major entities with a presence in Brampton may be soon joining forces — Amazon.com Inc is proposing to acquire Whole Foods Market for $13.7 billion.
The merger would mark Amazon’s first bricks-and-mortar retail space; Amazon shares were up 2.8 per cent at $991.35 and Whole Foods shares were up 28.6 percent at $42.51 in Friday afternoon trading.
But what exactly it means for retail – and consumers – isn’t yet clear.
“Implications ripple far beyond the food segment, where dominant players like Walmart … and Target now have to look over their shoulders at the Amazon train coming down the tracks,” Moody’s retail analyst Charlie O’Shea told the Globe and Mail.
Whole Foods opened at Mississauga’s Square One in August 2011. Prior to that, the only west GTA location was in Oakville at Trafalgar and Cornwall roads. (There are now three locations in Toronto and one in Markham).
Meanwhile, Amazon has at least three warehouses west of Toronto: a Brampton warehouse and distribution centre which opened in 2016 on Heritage Rd. and is expected to employ more than 700 full-time employees, a ‘fulfillment centre’ on Millcreek Dr., and a Milton warehouse on Peddie Rd.
Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO John Mackey says the partnership “presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers.”
Whole Foods will continue to operate under the same brand and Mackey will remain CEO.
The deal, which must be approved by shareholders, is expected to close later this year.