On June 16, 2017, ecommerce behemoth Amazon shook the grocery industry by announcing something completely unexpected: Its agreement to purchase the struggling natural grocer Whole Foods Market. What was anticipated, however, was the Seattle-based company’s eventual entrance into the grocery market, as it already had fundamentally changed such other markets as books, apparel, electronics and more.
Reactions among grocers and other industry experts have varied. Some experts have hailed Amazon’smove as a true game-changer that spells a new era of grocery retailing. Meanwhile, others believe the ecommerce company and Whole Foods together have too many problems to work through before they can become a true threat. And some have reserved judgement altogether.
It’s now been one year since the announced merger. Here’s what four grocery experts have to say on the anniversary: