Many people were surprised when online retail giant Amazon.com on Friday announced plans for a $13.7 billion acquisition of Austin-based Whole Foods Market.
Ryan Deiss wasn’t one of them.
The founder and CEO of Austin-based DigitalMarketer.com said he’d been expecting Amazon to make a brick-and-mortar purchase for at least a year – and Whole Foods was the perfect fit, he said.
The move was necessary, Deiss said, for Amazon to continue its growth.
“The vast majority of retail dollars are still spent in the real world,” Deiss said. “Everyone assumes it has all gone online and that’s just not the case.”
Amazon, Deiss said, has pretty much maxed out its reach online. Going the brick-and-mortar route will give it access to new customers – and lots of them.
“Amazon has been able to dominate the e-commerce world,” he said. “They’re running up against the limitations of the number of humans online. To really take it to the next level, Amazon knows this is what they’ve got to do.”
The $42 per share, all-cash deal, which requires approval from shareholders and regulators, gives Amazon 465 Whole Foods stores in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom – including six in Central Texas. Deiss said he believes the acquisition is just the beginning for Amazon, which has the technology and logistical know-how to help streamline operations – and cut costs – at just about any company it might acquire.
“I have a feeling they had their eye on Whole Foods for years, and that they already know who else they want,” Deiss said. “They think so far in advance. This is the start of an overarching strategy. More announcements, I bet, are in the works.”