Amazon Prime benefits will soon arrive within Whole Foods stores

Amazon announced Thursday that its takeover of Whole Foods Market would close next week as it plans to integrate the chain into

Both companies announced in a press release Thursday that Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods would become official on Monday, August 28, and shoppers would see immediate results in stores.

Shares of J.M. Smucker and Hormel Foods fell sharply Thursday after weaker-than-expected earnings as consumers continue to turn down packaged foods in favor fresher offerings, especially as Amazon prepares to take over organic grocery chain Whole Foods Market.

Amazon will gain access to the $800 billion grocery industry with Whole Foods, which has 460 stores and a fresh-food distribution network.

Amazon.com is wasting no time integrating with Whole Foods Market, announcing a raft of changes to the high-end grocer that the company plans to roll out when the $13.7 billion acquisition closes. With discount European giants like Aldi and Lidl executing massive expansion plans in America, many existing stores will inevitably fail.

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Amazon plans to expand the number of Whole Foods stores beyond the 470 it has in the USA and United Kingdom, it said. The two companies began talks about two months before then after Whole Foods representatives first contacted Amazon.

News of the closing date comes a day after Whole Foods shareholders voted to approve the deal, and the Federal Trade Commission said it would no longer be investigating the merger, which essentially cleared it to be closed.

Amazon has its work cut out to make sure Whole Foods doesn't fall victim as well. As Whole Foods grew, more supermarkets offered similar organic and natural foods, but at cheaper prices.

- Amazon lockers - where customers can pick up or send returns back items purchased on Amazon.com - will pop up in "select" Whole Foods stores. "To get started, we're going to lower prices beginning Monday on a selection of best-selling grocery staples". John Mackey will stay on as chief executive and the Whole Foods headquarters will remain in Austin, TX. A Morgan Stanley survey earlier this month found that Whole Foods prices were down slightly from a year ago, but that they still averaged roughly 15% higher than regional supermarkets. Amazon assumes no obligation to update the information in this communication, except as otherwise required by law.

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