Amazon’s bombshell buyout of Whole Foods could change the grocery industry

SEATTLE — Amazon’s announcement of buying Whole Foods on Friday could eventually change the grocery industry.

The nearly $14 billion deal is the largest purchase in Amazon’s history.

The bombshell news caused grocery store stocks to dip.

Experts tell Q13 News that Amazon’s acquisition of Whole foods will make the high-end organic grocery store more affordable, lowering prices for groceries and prepared meals.

The new relationship could force traditional grocery chains to evolve.

Grocery shopping -- you either love it or hate it.

“It’s a pain especially after work and a long day,” Teresa Bradford said.

“Time is definitely money,” April Bryan said.

So what if you could get Whole Foods products or other groceries delivered to your door?

“I like to see and feel what I am purchasing, I want it in my hand,” Bryan said.

Some say online grocery shopping will never work. Others say the growing options are intriguing with Amazon buying Whole Foods Market.

“It’s convenience, right? We all live a busy, hectic life,” Bradford said.

Food industry experts say the online giant tapping into the brick-and-mortar world is a game-changer for traditional grocery chains.

“No one excels at reducing pricing than Amazon,” Steven Johnson of Foodservice Solutions said.

Johnson, a consultant for the food industry, says other companies have to compete to stay alive.

“I think they are going to get more competitive, they will become more innovative in other services they can offer,” Johnson said.

That includes delivering prepared meals.

“People don’t want to cook from scratch. They want prepared foods, they want ready-to-eat foods, something I can heat and eat,” Johnson said.

Many like the fast and convenient service Amazon provides but others are asking at what cost.

“I like seeing the produce, the people; they know me by name, don’t take the personality out of life,” Safeway shopper Tina Fukumoto said.

In response to Amazon’s news, Walmart told Q13 News that the company is still in a great position, with more than 4,500 stores across the country. The giant retailer sells the most groceries than any other retailer. The company is in the process of testing delivery services for groceries in three different cities but they do not include Seattle as of yet.