Grocery game changing as Amazon set to acquire Whole Foods

The grocery business is set to get a big shape-up come Monday as Amazon completes its takeover of Whole Foods. Ahead of the takeover, Amazon is pledging to slash prices on a number of items from eggs to chicken to produce.

“I’m really happy about it, because I actually do shop here quite often, so to get everyday essential items at a cheaper, more affordable price would be great,” said Justin Edstrom, a shopper in Downtown Minneapolis.

Experts said no matter its impact on consumers, the takeover is bad news for competitors like Walmart and locally-based companies Target and Supervalu, which owns Cub Foods.

Stock prices of grocers plunged on Thursday after Amazon announced its plans.

“Whatever the reality is going to be five years from now, there’s no questions everybody stands up and looks around and takes note when Amazon makes a move into an industry,” said George John, Professor of Marketing at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

John said Amazon is also likely to use Whole Foods to bolster its existing online businesses. The company announced plans to put lockers in some stores where customers can pick up and drop off items they order on line.

He said despite Amazon’s track record, the venture is a bit of a gamble.

“Time will tell. I wouldn’t want to bet against Amazon, so I think the heat just got turned up at Target and Supervalu and all these guys,” John said.

One person who isn’t necessarily a fan of the merger’s approval is Sen. Amy Klobuchar. She's concerned about the Federal Trade Commission's decision to quickly approve the merger fewer than three months after it was announced.  She said the merger raises questions about harm to consumers and suppressed competition.