While Amazon has repeatedly dabbled with the idea of opening more brick-and-mortar stores in the past, Friday’s announcement that the company has agreed to acquire the upscale grocery chain Whole Foods for more than $13 billion still came as a surprise.
The acquisition, Amazon’s largest by far, makes sense for a number of reasons however. In addition to Whole Foods’ 450+ stores which generated $15.7 billion in sales and $500+ million in net profit last year, Amazon also gets access to the grocer’s distribution and procurement network.
As our chart illustrates, Whole Foods’ 444 stores in the U.S. are sprawled across 43 states, giving Amazon convenient locations for in-store pickups of Amazon Fresh orders as well as storage and cooling capacity to facilitate last-mile delivery of fresh goods.
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