This is a stunning and counter-intuitive move by Amazon to place its brand in local neighborhoods. Look to Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods to proliferate like, well, Starbucks. Smaller stores augmented by high-end produce, organics, and impulse purchases. It also makes shopping a local task, so perhaps the next acquisition could be Instacart.
The $13.7 billion deal brings to a head a years-long battle brewing between Amazon, the online darling, and traditional retail powerhouses likes Walmart. And it shakes up a U.S. grocery industry that has been struggling to keep up with growing competition, both in stores and online. Amazon, which for years has been testing new technology and innovations in quiet corners, would now have a network of physical locations to test and implement those ideas.