Whole Foods customers who are Amazon Prime members, meanwhile, could get discounts on certain products.
"I don't like the thought of my fresh groceries sitting on my doorstep while I'm at work", Anderson said.
But if Amazon can be the one-stop shop for everything groceries had been one of the key missing elements customers would have even less of a need to go to Walmart or elsewhere.
-Amazon. Investors like the deal and think it will be good for the online retail giant, which has been expanding its grocery offerings. "That means we can rely upon Whole Foods' consistently high quality meat and produce, and can rely upon prompt delivery from the store as a distribution point".
With Whole Foods, Amazon is getting 456 brick-and-mortar stores in North America and Britain. Walmart, which has the largest share of the US food market, has been working on lowering prices, while Target has been struggling to turn around its grocery business.
At least one local shopper at the Andover Whole Foods store had a much different perspective on the deal.
"In Jackson, Mississippi, 59-year-old Deborah Sullivan says she does order some items online, but when it comes to clothes and food, she prefers to touch and feel the items". The employees remaining would help improve the shopping experience, the person said. "We'd like to see what we're buying", he said.
Hardy said the grocery industry has typically changed in slow, "evolutionary" ways.
■Target: The retailer fell $2.85, or 5.1 percent, to $52.61. Customers are assigned a personal shopper who scours the aisles, purchases and delivers items from retailers like Whole Foods. "They're greedy bastards, and they're putting a bunch of propaganda out there, trying to destroy my reputation and the reputation of Whole Foods, because it's in their self-interest to do so". Whole Foods shares were trading just above that level on Friday, as investors saw negligible regulatory risk to the deal closing. However, the merchandising will emerge more slowly as a system is developed, Hauptman said. But Mahaney said the acquisition doesn't suggest that Whole Foods was in an especially weak state.
SAM BERNSTEIN: I don't know.
Roger Davidson, who oversaw Wal-Mart's global food procurement and now is president of Oakton Advisory Group, said the deal will reduce Wal-Mart's brick-and-mortar advantage.
These online retailers are taking on a number of major firms dominating the supermarket scene for so long, including Walmart supercenters, Safeway, and Publix. "They want prepared foods, they want ready-to-eat foods, something I can heat and eat", Johnson said.
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