Amazon plans cuts to make Whole Foods competitive with Walmart, reports say

Drew Herdener, an Amazon spokesman, said in a statement the company has "no plans to use no-checkout technology to automate the jobs of cashiers at Whole Foods and no job reductions are planned".

In the United States, "this adds 440 refrigerated warehouses within 10 miles of probably 80 percent of the population", said Michael Pachter, an analyst for Wedbush Securities.

Moody's lead retail analyst Charlie O'Shea said the deal could be "transformative, not just for food retail, but for retail in general". German discounters Aldi and Lidl are battling Wal-Mart, which controls 22 percent of the USA grocery market, with each vowing to undercut whatever price the others offer. The space has gotten intensely competitive for Wal-Mart, and with Amazon's focus on technology to provide convenience to consumers, Wal-Mart will need to stay on its toes to maintain its market share.

Whole Foods shares were advancing 1.07 percent to $43.13.

Any buyer of Whole Foods would likely argue that it was not in the same market, said Alden Abbott, an antitrust expert with the Heritage Foundation.

Oppenheimer's Jason Helfstein says: "Our analysis assumes no incremental investment by Amazon, or potential revenue/ cost synergy; however, we believe it's likely Amazon will invest at some level to: 1) increase store efficiency (especially on labor cost); and 2) convert stores to work as online food distribution hubs". Even still, analysts were skeptical of the idea that Bezos plans sweeping changes that would damage the Whole Foods ambiance. This is a seemingly great marriage that comes as no surprise to those in retail, as Whole Foods gives Amazon another footprint in brick-and-mortar, while Whole Foods gets a much needed boost in e-commerce.

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He promised a full and thorough investigation, citing "historic police reforms" that are "in place to address such crises". Officers can be heard saying "Get back, get back, hey, hey, get back, get back " before they fire five shots.

Although Amazon's deep pockets were hard to match for any rival, "many will do anything to either make this acquisition more costly for Amazon or prevent the assets from landing in Amazon's lap", analyst Karen Short said in a research note sent to clients on 16 June. Whole Foods will keep operating stores under its name.

Another move that could have a big effect is a major shareholder saying that they support the Amazon bid.

Amazon and Whole Foods revealed their merger on Friday.

"This might be an opportunity for consumers who have felt that Whole Foods is inaccessible", said Lauren Beitelspacher, a marketing professor at Babson College in MA.

Whole Foods 365 offers private-label goods and lower prices than typical Whole Foods stores, and is targeted at younger, value-conscious shoppers. Meanwhile, Amazon's issues with counterfeit goods make luxury a tough market to crack, Digiday reported.

So why would anyone assume Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods would face regulatory scrutiny?

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Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods ups the stakes in this battle of giant retailers by giving Amazon not just the physical spaces, but also the knowledge on how to run them.

The Whole Foods deal could also get more people to try grocery delivery, something many shoppers have been hesitant about because of concerns about meat and produce quality.

"Kroger would have to pay in stock, and their stock has been hurting", giving them less leverage to get into a protracted bidding war with Amazon, Culpepper said.

Whole Foods will continue to be based in Austin, Amazon said, and John Mackey, one of the chain's founders, will continue to serve as CEO. "Americans would like home delivery, but they aren't willing to pay for it", Mackey told me then.

However, the FTSE 250 firm announced earlier this month that it had signed an agreement with "a regional European retailer" to help it access website software and other technology. The stores could also showcase gadgets such as Kindle e-readers and Fire tablets.

Amazon was up 0.89 percent at $996.52.

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