BUSINESS

Whole Foods To See Lower Prices As Amazon Finalizes Grocery Chain's Takeover

Under new management, as of Monday.

08/24/2017 16:03 EDT | Updated 08/24/2017 16:15 EDT

NEW YORK Amazon will close its US$13.7 billion (C$17.2 billion) buyout of Whole Foods Market Inc. on Monday and plans to cut prices on grocery staples.

Starting Monday, Whole Foods will offer lower prices on bananas, eggs, salmon, beef, and other products. Looking ahead, the Seattle company hopes to give Amazon Prime members special savings and other in-store benefits.

Also, certain Whole Foods products will be available through Amazon.com, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry and Prime Now.

Whole Foods has 13 locations in Canada, all of them in the Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa areas.

Whole Foods shareholders approved the deal Wednesday, and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said it would not block the deal. Amazon will pay Whole Foods shareholders $42 per share, marking an 18 per cent premium from its stock price the day before the tie-up was announced on June 16.

Mohammad Khursheed / Reuters
Customers are seen outside a Whole Foods Market in Austin, Texas, U.S. December 14, 2016. The supermarket chain will offer lower prices on some items as it comes under Amazon's ownership.

Earlier this month, Amazon.com Inc. sold $16 billion of bonds in order to pay for the purchase.

By buying Whole Foods, Amazon is taking a bold step into brick-and-mortar, with more than 460 stores and potentially very lucrative data about how shoppers behave offline.

Meanwhile, rivals are scrambling to catch up with the e-commerce giant. Wal-Mart Stores Inc., which has the largest share of the U.S. grocery market, is expanding its grocery delivery service with ride-hailing service Uber and announced Wednesday that it will join forces with Google to let shoppers order goods by voice on Google devices.

Shares of other big grocery businesses fell. The Kroger Co. dropped nearly 8 per cent. Target, Costco and Supervalu all fell about 4 per cent. Walmart, which has the largest share of the U.S. grocery market, was off 2 per cent.

With a file from HuffPost Canada