Since the announcement of Amazon’s proposed acquisition of Whole Foods Market (WFM US), markets have been abuzz about the impact this will have on the U.S. grocery market and eventually, its impact on other grocery markets such as Australia. The other area of speculation is what Amazon aims to do strategically with Whole Foods and its store network.
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Some analysts have speculated that a natural extension to grocery delivery is online food delivery from restaurants by industry players such as Grubhub (GRUB US) or one of its peers, Just Eat (JE LN) and privately owned DoorDash. The rationale is that Whole Foods potentially shares a similar customer base to Grubhub and Amazon’s delivery and logistics could be easily integrated into Grubhub’s existing delivery network (and arguably overlapping).
At a current market value of US$4 billion, Grubhub could be easily digested by Amazon but we think any proposed deal may be a while away. Prior to its announced Whole Foods acquisition, Amazon has not shown a desire to make large acquisitions. We would suggest that Amazon is likely to want to bed down the Whole Foods acquisition before making any decision about a major move into restaurant delivery.