Here comes even more of that deflation the Fed hates so much.
Walmart stock is getting whacked, as is the broader grocer sector, after Amazon announced moments ago that the acquisition of Whole Foods will close on Monday, and that in keeping with the company's tradition of stealing market by underpricing its competition, it will cut prices at Whole Foods once the deal closes.
In its press release, Amazon announced that its acquisition of Whole Foods Market will close on Monday August 28, 2017, and the two companies "will together pursue the vision of making Whole Foods Market’s high-quality, natural and organic food affordable for everyone. As a down payment on that vision, Whole Foods Market will offer lower prices starting Monday on a selection of best-selling grocery staples across its stores, with more to come."
Just in case it was not clear, it then added that "starting Monday, Whole Foods Market will offer lower prices on a selection of best-selling staples across its stores, with much more to come. Customers will enjoy lower prices on products like Whole Trade bananas, organic avocados, organic large brown eggs, organic responsibly-farmed salmon and tilapia, organic baby kale and baby lettuce, animal-welfare-rated 85% lean ground beef, creamy and crunchy almond butter, organic Gala and Fuji apples, organic rotisserie chicken, 365 Everyday Value organic butter, and much more."
“We’re determined to make healthy and organic food affordable for everyone. Everybody should be able to eat Whole Foods Market quality – we will lower prices without compromising Whole Foods Market’s long-held commitment to the highest standards,” said Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon Worldwide Consumer. “To get started, we’re going to lower prices beginning Monday on a selection of best-selling grocery staples, including Whole Trade organic bananas, responsibly-farmed salmon, organic large brown eggs, animal-welfare-rated 85% lean ground beef, and more. And this is just the beginning – we will make Amazon Prime the customer rewards program at Whole Foods Market and continuously lower prices as we invent together. There is significant work and opportunity ahead, and we’re thrilled to get started.”
“It’s been our mission for 39 years at Whole Foods Market to bring the highest quality food to our customers,” said John Mackey, Whole Foods Market co-founder and CEO. “By working together with Amazon and integrating in several key areas, we can lower prices and double down on that mission and reach more people with Whole Foods Market’s high-quality, natural and organic food. As part of our commitment to quality, we’ll continue to expand our efforts to support and promote local products and suppliers. We can’t wait to start showing customers what’s possible when Whole Foods Market and Amazon innovate together.”
The responses in WalMart stock was quick and painful, as shareholders anticipate even further margin compression, while AMZN has almost recouped the day's losses on expectations of more market share gains.
Also getting pummeled is the entire Whole Foods supplier space, including United Natural Foods, Hain Celestial, TreeHouse Foods, Post, General Mills, Snyder’s-Lance, which have dropped to session low on the announcement which is expected to squeeze the supplier channel on reduced pricing. As a result, the S&P 1500 Packaged Food Index has sunk to session low, and is on track for biggest loss since November.