No. 6 story of the year: Tech giant Amazon buys Austin-grown Whole Foods


Highlights

We are counting down the American-Statesman’s 10 biggest stories of 2017.

Our countdown of storylines chosen by Statesman reporters and editors continues through Dec. 31. Today we’re at No. 6: Amazon’s purchase of the Austin-born Whole Foods

Our countdown of storylines chosen by Statesman reporters and editors continues through Dec. 31.

Today we’re at No. 6: Amazon’s purchase of the Austin-born Whole Foods

Born in 1978 on Lamar Boulevard, Whole Foods became an iconic Austin business and success story, growing to 465 stores and 87,000 employees and changing the way we think of food and shopping for groceries.

On June 16, the online shopping and tech giant Amazon announced that it would acquire Whole Foods in an all-cash deal valued at $13.7 billion.

The sale to Amazon was a surprise even though it followed months of rumors of other suitors, such as Albertson’s, and efforts by an investment group to force Whole Foods to make management and operational changes to address increased competition.

Amazon said Whole Foods’ headquarters will remain in Austin, but changes were already happening. On Aug. 28, the first day Amazon took over as owner of Whole Foods, prices were slashed, Amazon delivery lockers appeared at stores and the e-commerce giant promised in a statement that it was “just the beginning.”

More changes are expected, as Amazon finds ways to marry its online order-and-delivery systems with its new grocery offerings. 

Highlights of our coverage

Photo gallery: Whole Foods through the years

June 16: Amazon buying Whole Foods for $13.7 billion

July 7: Timeline of the deal

Oct. 26:  Amazon posts huge growth in sales in first earnings report since Whole Foods purchase 

Sept. 22: Under Amazon, will Whole Foods still be Austin’s ‘thing’

Previously in our countdown

No. 10 : Secretive search for Austin's next city manager

 No. 9: After 3 years, Greg Kelley released from prison

No. 8: With Legislature’s help, Uber and Lyft return to Austin

No. 7: Fatal stabbing at University of Texas


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