Lion of the Blogosphere

Amazon acquires Whole Foods

When I first heard this news, it felt really huge. Like big changes are coming supermarkets and retail in general. Huge changes.

Wall Street (collectively) had the same feeling. Normally when there’s a corporate takeover, the stock price of the acquiring corporation goes down. But this time, stock price of Amazon went up, and the stock price of every other supermarket and retail company went down. This reaction to a corporate takeover is unheard of. At least, I don’t ever recall such a thing happening before.

It should be noted that Whole Foods is the most SWPL of all big supermarket chains. The future of retail is divided into prole or SWPL with nothing in between.

Also, it seems to me that supermarkets are the only type of retail which I don’t see being replaced by online sales. You can’t buy meat and dairy online. They will spoil by the time they get to you. Unless you have fast delivery using refrigerated trucks. Which requires a large physical local infrastructure. And Amazon is buying part of such an infrastructure with its acquisition of Whole Foods.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

June 16, 2017 at 6:05 pm

Posted in Investments

89 Responses

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  1. Wal-Mart can buy Aldi and call it Prole Foods.

    I wrote about Amazon earlier today:

    Dave Pinsen

    June 16, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    • tell me why i shouldn’t buy KR.

      how is this related pizza?

      June 17, 2017 at 3:29 am

      • Buy it if you like. It’s the kind of thing I would have done 10 or 20 years ago.

        But I came around in recent years to a different approach: buy & hedge what’s: a) been going up; b) looks like it might keep going up, based on option market sentiment; and is relatively inexpensive to hedge.

        That way, if it keeps going up, you make money, and if it tanks, you don’t lose too much.

        In general, I think it makes more sense buying stuff that’s been going up than stuff that’s been going down. An object in motion and all that. The odds that you’ll time it so KR will start going up right after you buy it seem slim.

        Dave Pinsen

        June 18, 2017 at 1:14 am

      • thanks. but my favorite holding period is forever. i was wondering about the fundamentals. until last quarter KR’s earnings had increased for 53 quarters in a row and it has a ridiculously low beta./

        how is this related to pizza?

        June 18, 2017 at 5:29 pm

  2. Retail is the worst investment. Low margins, immense competition, low barrier to entry. Don’t know why retail owners get up in the morning and work their ass off to bring us what we want.

    That said, we are going through a huge change in retail due to Amazon and other online retailers. Many will fall. Those that survive will probably be in a very strong position. Lousy economics don’t have to last forever. Wait 5 years and get a sense of who is going to survive then retail may be a decent investment.


    June 16, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    • Real estate is the parasitic killer. Why do people work still work so hard these days? To pay their damn rent!


      June 17, 2017 at 9:24 am

  3. The closest food store to my house is Walmart and it sucks. I refuse to buy from their butcher shop. Most of the time they are out of simple produce such as parsley or scallions. Their baked bread and deli product are horrible. I only use the store because it is so close and the next closest store is 5 miles away (I live on the fringe of Vegas where everything is spread out far and wide).


    June 16, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    • Maybe there will be only stores that sell meat, produce and baked goods in the future. Everything else will be delivered by Amazon. All of the other stuff can be delivered.

      I know someone at work who gets their paper towels and things like that delivered from Amazon.


      June 16, 2017 at 11:07 pm

    • Of course, there are companies that also deliver meat like Allen Brothers.


      June 16, 2017 at 11:09 pm

  4. And didn’t Verizon acquire Yahoo today or yesterday. 42-year old Yahoo CEO Marissa Meyer has raped Yahoo stockholders for $250 million for five years of “work.”

    E. Rekshun

    June 16, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    • C’mon now! That broken glass ceiling was worth at least $100M by itself!


      June 16, 2017 at 6:56 pm

    • if you sincerely believe there’s some sort of anti woman agenda out to keep you down (and i’m guessing mayer did), then working hard and doing a good job seems like a cuck move. better to just rape stockholders, get yours, and retire comfortably while the white male sexist proles die in their coal mines and shit


      June 17, 2017 at 4:06 pm

  5. at what point do we break up amazon into lots of smaller companies? this is getting crazy.


    June 16, 2017 at 7:01 pm

    • We don’t. Amazon & the WaPo impeach Trump, then Jeff Bezos becomes president and rebrands America as Amazonia (hat-tip: fat feminists).

      Panther of the Blogocube

      June 16, 2017 at 8:27 pm

      • Brill

        Fag of the blogoshpere

        June 18, 2017 at 7:58 am

    • This.


      June 17, 2017 at 11:38 am

    • Bust trusts or hail your lord:


      June 17, 2017 at 12:44 pm

      • Fred Wilson mentioned that Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash is required reading at his venture capital firm, Union Square Ventures. In it, Stephenson had people in California living in converted shipping containers. Some actually are now.

        Dave Pinsen

        June 18, 2017 at 1:20 am

      • This Amazon takeover of Whole Foods could in fact be a hostile takeover. Jeff Bezos is known to be a tightwad when it comes to pay and employee benefits. I expect him to remove all the perks associated with working for Whole Foods including employee discounts. Then there’s the layoffs of checkout counter clerks where self service machines will be the new norm, and a ruder demeanor will be coming from its existing employees.

        I guess Whole Foods is operating on a thin profit margin, because it plays nice with its employees and customers.

        As Machiavelli said in his Prince, it’s better to be stingy than to be generous, when it comes to vainglory.


        June 18, 2017 at 11:27 am

    • Exactly, wait until Amazon has everything and then complain about prices going up too fast.


      June 17, 2017 at 2:11 pm

    • Amazon controls something like 50% of the e-commerce business in the USA. I think it’ll have to reach closer to 70% or 80% before there is any serious talk about it being a monopoly that needs to be broken up. Even then Amazon may escape unscathed, because Bezos is a leftist, and the Democrats will not have much taste for putting the hurt on him. If there is any serious attempt made to break Amazon up, expect the WaPo to begin running editorials explaining to the unwashed masses how having only one online retailer is a good thing.

      Sgt. Joe Friday

      June 17, 2017 at 2:15 pm

  6. i like this interpretation:


    June 16, 2017 at 7:04 pm

    • My guess is that Amazon wants to start selling it’s own line of food products, like it’s own chocolate, coffee, tea, etc. Whole Foods already has that, it’s called 365 I think. Amazon can use the stores to launch more brands like that and then sell them on line. In other words, instead of shipping Oreos and Hershey bars to your home, Amazon will ship Whole Foods brands to your home, and ship those products to people who don’t live near a Whole Foods. The delivery-depot argument doesn’t make sense because a supermarket is not a distribution center, but the brand argument does.

      BJ dubbS

      June 17, 2017 at 7:19 am

  7. This is truly amazing. FWIW I’ve added another 1,000 shares to my XES position today. I can wait it out for a few years, but the payday will surely come.


    June 16, 2017 at 7:16 pm

  8. Wasn’t Amazon testing delivery with drones recently?


    June 16, 2017 at 7:29 pm

  9. “The future of retail is divided into prole or SWPL with nothing in between.”


    “And Amazon is buying part of such an infrastructure with its acquisition of Whole Foods.”

    I can’t imagine Bezos buying WF just to own a grocery chain. I suspect he plans to integrate it in some innovative way.

    You can’t buy meat and dairy online.

    Tuscan Dairy Whole Vitamin D Milk, Gallon, 128 oz

    23,553 of 23,965 people found the following review helpful


    June 16, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    • i fail to see the humor.

      how is this related pizza?

      June 17, 2017 at 3:21 am

      • How can you not see the humor? It’s even funnier because one isn’t quite sure whether he’s serious.


        June 18, 2017 at 7:19 pm

  10. Not only did Amazon acquire Whole Foods today – Walmart acquired Bonobos. What a time to be alive!

    Two in the Bush

    June 16, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    • So does that mean Walmart/Whole Foods will have apes doing all the low level work now? Having to pay salaries in bananas should really boost their bottom line.



      June 17, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    • We’ll see. Bonobos people think Walmart is cheesy; Whole Foods people (including me) think Bonobos are cheesy. Walmart people may aspire to the slimming aspect of Bonobos; we’ll see how good that fit is.


      June 17, 2017 at 10:18 pm

  11. On NeoGaf they are saying that the acquittal in the Castile shooting is an example of the culture of white supremacy, despite their recognition that Yanez is a Latino.

    White people are always to blame.

    Otis the Sweaty

    June 16, 2017 at 8:42 pm

    • There are online Hispanic and East Asian Supremacists who ally themselves with White Supremacists against the black folk and anyone in the liberal camp.


      June 18, 2017 at 9:36 am

  12. Don’t like these massive monopolies? How many ordinary people have market exposure to the top 10 corporations by market cap but don’t have a clue how to read a balance sheet, income or cash flow statement? Nor follow these corps on an ongoing basis and are closely familiar with board members, management, etc.? Big corporations with no cash flow have enormous power because sheep shovel their savings into them by the millions. Want to blame someone for Faceberg or Bezos or Cook? Look in the mirror.

    Andrew E.

    June 16, 2017 at 9:40 pm

  13. Michael Savage was railing at this today, excoriating Trump for failing to stop the Bezos “monopoly.” The guy obviously doesn’t know anything about monopoly or antitrust. To me, this is consumer friendly. I don’t really think it’s going to hurt Safeway, but if it did, I’d be glad because I hate union checkers/cashiers. It’s like the black toll-takers on the GGB. When automation eliminated their jobs, I was thrilled. I was tired of getting my fingers slashed by those four-inch nails.

    Mel Belli

    June 16, 2017 at 10:28 pm

  14. amazon is going to destroy every company. they need to be busted up.

    james n.s.w

    June 16, 2017 at 11:53 pm

  15. The future of retail is divided into prole or SWPL with nothing in between.

    The discount German groceries Aldi and Lidl are expanding in the US:

    Most of the stuff in Aldi and Lidl are in store private knockoff brands you’ve never heard of. The kind of store brands you’d get a bit embarrassed by when your mom would get them compared to the recognizable brands the other kids in school would have.


    June 17, 2017 at 1:00 am

    • The weird Aldi brands are hilarious and my limited experience of eating them suggests they taste just fine.


      June 18, 2017 at 1:22 am

      • Yeah, most of them are fine, just like the Safeway or other big grocery chain generic brands are usually fine. But it’s funny how Aldi packages them in these knockoff brands nobody’s heard of that are similar in packaging to the name brand stuff, while Safeway and other big chains just package them in plain generic packaging.

        Some of the Aldi stuff is definitely subpar though. Like they’ll have basic condiments that taste nothing like the real thing or just weirdly off.


        June 18, 2017 at 2:46 pm

  16. Lion, there’s actually a town in the middle of Iowa called Prole:,_Iowa


    June 17, 2017 at 1:02 am

  17. could someone explain amazon to me please. no dividends. no buy backs. no profits. ever. i don’t get it.

    and amazon after driving bookstores out of business is setting up its own.

    bezos thinks he can do everything better than everyone else. sounds like a total douche.

    what’s his endgame? sell at cost until all retail is his then jack prices?

    how is this related pizza?

    June 17, 2017 at 3:25 am

  18. In Paris it was going all extremely expensive organic stores (Biocop) and very cheap hard discounter (Lidl, Ed). But now, middle-market places (some more to the high level, others to the low) are re-emerging that fits more people means. So i’m not sure there is always a crash of the middle, at least in a big rich city.

    NB : Paris city is the richest area in Europe. Eurostat data are twisted because they compare the 11 million Paris area with the 3 million inner london are. If you compare Paris (2 million) with inner London, even if in Paris 30% of housing is social for mostly african people, Paris is still much richer than London and any other big city in Europe. It could compare only with Manhattan.

    Bruno from Paris

    June 17, 2017 at 7:47 am

    • BS! Cannot compared to Manhattan. Paris has better food and classier looking decorum, not to mention, better bookstores. In terms of aesthetics, comparing a ville en nouveau monde to Paris, it would be Montréal or Québec City, not ugly Manhattan.


      June 18, 2017 at 1:12 am

  19. In the Upper Midwest, the Meijer chain has rolled out a home delivery using Shipt. Costs $99 per year, and they’ll deliver anything in the store to your door. Order online or by app.

    Black Death

    June 17, 2017 at 8:33 am

    • There used to be delivery boys. Remember Leave it to Beaver?

      Milk would be delivered by the milk man. I know in the UK, they still delivered milk to you in the 90′.


      June 18, 2017 at 7:41 pm

      • Milk, that’s what my prole grandfather delivered, but he delivered it to small stores and not private residences.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        June 18, 2017 at 7:49 pm

  20. I received cold packages from Amazon many times. Just a normal cardboard box, some kind of metallic foam an inch thick inside, then some icepacks inside that. They were not for raw meat, but it arrived pretty close to fridge temperature. When I was a kid, Shwinn’s used to deliver meat twice a month, and gave us a free garage freezer to store it all in. Pretty sure they are still in business.


    June 17, 2017 at 8:58 am

  21. I used Amazon Fresh grocery service once to take advantage of a $15 off of $40 promo. The process was very easy and arrived the next day at the appointed time I choose. However, almost everything was full retail price when actual grocery stores you can get 80% of your shopping list on sale. I kind of like grocery shopping on top of that.


    June 17, 2017 at 9:02 am

    • I kind of like grocery shopping on top of that.

      Grocery shopping can be a good place for a single guy to meet attractive women. In my much younger days, I met and dated a few cute, all-American type checkout girls.

      E. Rekshun

      June 18, 2017 at 6:14 am

      • The checkout girls are old Hispanic women.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        June 18, 2017 at 8:05 am

      • My main job brings me into a variety of supermarkets, and as a very general rule the checkout girls are either in the 18 to 25 range, or over 45. You just don’t see many in between.



        June 18, 2017 at 8:19 am

      • Did you bag ’em?


        June 18, 2017 at 2:50 pm

  22. Whole Foods is already a corporate entity and I already called it Prole Foods.

    This acquisition demonstrates another moment of post scarcity. America is a smut land of frivolous consumption.


    June 17, 2017 at 9:15 am

    • I love how even a place where almost every shopper is top 5% in income and/or education is still prole for JS.

      In reality Whole Foods, while it seems expensive, has an overall profit margin that is not too high. The two things they make a lot of money on are cheap staples like organic apples with absurd markups plus prepared food. Newer locations and renovations will normally have more than double the space devoted to prepared foods compared to pre-2010 designs.


      June 18, 2017 at 3:22 pm

      • Whole Foods in Manhattan attracts a lot of proles.

        Proof: Patrons who come in and start dipping in the hot food bar without paying and walking out. Neither security nor WF staff ever stops them.


        June 18, 2017 at 6:19 pm

      • Just for fun, here is pic of a Whole Foods located in Phoenix, Arizona, and some of its patrons:

        Now Arizona is a Red State, which of course, it’s prole. Are you telling me these people are top 5% in income?

        It seems far from it.

        Now here’s a pic of some Walmart Shoppers in San Diego, California:

        America – land of the proles and home of the proles.


        June 18, 2017 at 8:19 pm

      • lmao i love JS’ posts so much the guy is so obsessed

        james n.s.w

        June 19, 2017 at 2:23 am

  23. Walmart bought, which is a competitor to Amazon. They sell groceries like Amazon Prime Pantry. Like Prime Pantry, they offer free shipping for big enough orders. They’ll even ship frozen foods for a $5 fee, which is nice if their ice cream selection is better than the local supermarkets’ selection.

    Of course, is a minor competitor to Amazon, and their prices are always higher. On the other hand, Amazon’s Prime Pantry is only available with a Prime subscription, while Jet’s groceries are available to anyone with a free account.

    Anyway, the merging or online retailers and grocers isn’t hard to see for anyone who’s tried either service. The selection is usually better online.


    June 17, 2017 at 1:11 pm

  24. I was planning to say that online grocery shopping is very common in the UK, but having checked I find that it’s only 7% of the market.

    Still a lot, though, and it is higher still in Japan and South Korea.


    June 17, 2017 at 4:49 pm

  25. Soon there will be one store that sells everything. It will be called “Store.” We’ll be able to get our THX 1138 style apparel there too!

    El Hombre

    June 17, 2017 at 7:31 pm

    • I hope I don’t have to go shopping in the future. I hate shopping.


      June 18, 2017 at 7:45 pm

  26. You can buy groceries online for delivery in NYC through FreshDirect or Instacart. Maybe Amazon will offer something similar for upscale suburban areas around Whole Food stores. Going to the grocery store feels like an inefficient waste of time where I come in to proximity with people I would rather avoid. Same for occasional trips to buy non-food consumables like paper towels, toilet paper, and deodorant. Maybe Amazon can solve this.

    “The future of retail is divided into prole or SWPL with nothing in between.” It seems to be heading in that direction.

    R P

    June 17, 2017 at 7:44 pm

    • When we speak of prole with a product, we usually refer to inferiority or bad quality. I can’t fathom prole brands and prole businesses to survive in the near future, when SWPL products and businesses are competing with each other and out competing prole products at the similar prices or even lower in some cases. The future will evolved into lower tier SWPL products and very exclusive, expensive products intended for those with means. Still, expensive real estate in our liberal centers is what really divides the haves and have nots.


      June 18, 2017 at 1:35 am

  27. OT – Lion, just because you returned as a direct contractor doesn’t mean you can’t ask for a raise after 1 year. Even if you are 1099 they can still afford to give you a bump of $2-$3 per hour after 12-15 months. Don’t let them off the hook.


    June 17, 2017 at 9:13 pm

    • I’m screwed work-wise. I expect nothing.

      • You have a bad attitude, mate. America is the land of opportunity and don’t you ever forget it. NYC is a tremendous place to make money. It’s the cooling season and I can’t help but rake it in. This week I’ve got $3,500 of business lined up, if I can do it all. This is $3,500 of pure profit and that is good for my pocket.


        June 18, 2017 at 6:29 am

      • All you do is wait for a big HVAC moment.

        I have a steady income from an easy job and you call people who pay taxes and make less than a certain amount, losers. You are a riot, my mate!


        June 18, 2017 at 8:56 am

      • Mate, I love and enjoy my work, I don’t bitch about America and NYC, and I vote Trump. This much better than what you are doing.

        Incidentally, I love Montreal and Canada as well. Lolz! You are a sour puss!

        It’s very frustrating that back in the the US had not conquered Canada though.


        June 18, 2017 at 12:02 pm

      • America lost to a war with the Canadians for its territory and never dare step foot again.


        June 18, 2017 at 6:26 pm

      • No, you’re a #%$& who tout tax evasion and prole endeavors as the good life. You should be ashamed for being a charlatan.


        June 18, 2017 at 6:29 pm

      • Listen, this discussion isn’t about me, you know. Let’s leave my life alone until Lion dedicates a post to it. For the time being I beleive I’ve adequately described my financial strategies and you can either like them or lump them. Just stay on topic, will you?

        I should feel ashamed for not paying taxes to the government that gives my Tajik $2,200 in section 8? You are stark raving mad, JS! See a shrink ASAP!


        June 18, 2017 at 7:06 pm

      • america depends on immigrants. they’re the only people dumb enough to believe in the american dream. what yakov doesn’t know is he’d do even better in any other developed country. better than russia isn’t hard to accomplish.

        in support of JS, a map showing the abject failure of anglo-saxon economics. the uk also has the largest trade deficit to gdp of any developed country. it’s a disaster.
        and guess who the remaining 4 countries are among the 5 with the largest trade deficits to gdp. canada, the US, australia, and new zealand. pathetic.

        how is this related to pizza?

        June 18, 2017 at 11:09 pm

      • There is no irrational or mystical belief in the American Dream, it’s $$ and cents and freedom, opportunity and hard work. JS, what’s Canada doing on the list? Did you go from a frying pan into a fire?

        Anyway, I’m a simple little low IQ creature who is trying to make it in the concrete city jungle. All I know is that when I go out to work I come back with money. I can do a job and make $1,000 a day. This Sunday I wanted to set my personal record by earning $1,700 with my own two hands, but my boss needed me to make money for him. We’re in the world can a working man earn this money? Remember, I’m not a rocket scientist, you know.


        June 19, 2017 at 6:31 am

  28. Down here in Atlanta, the organic chain “Sprouts” is building a huge number of suburban, but high average income $$ (white/asian) locations in areas where Whole Foods wouldn’t dare build a store. At least 3 locations in the northern reaches of District 6 (for those keeping up with our house election)

    Whole foods seems to be sticking to strictly the most SWPL/gentrifying/intown type of areas. (i.e.
    overwhelmingly Democratic-leaning white folks)


    June 17, 2017 at 9:16 pm

  29. The reaction of the market to this is really something to behold, apparently Amazon will magically transport the people who shop at Wal Mart and Food Lion to Whole Foods.

    Bezos purchased a challenged player in a market with thin margins to begin with. Whole Foods is a really nice experience but once that wears off, one realizes much of what can be bought is available elsewhere cheaper. I can buy a humanely raised organic roast chicken at Earth Fare for $5.00, Whole Foods wants $11.99, Costco wants $4.99 but not organic and one would assume, humanely raised but it is bigger. Committed transcendentalists such as myself shop at Whole Foods but we’re on a budget; we don’t buy supplements from Whole Foods, or Earth Fare for that matter, because we know the price is 60+% off at Amazon, how exactly is that going to change? I mean really change, not the “robots will fix it” answer”

    The reality is there is a huge swath of in-between prole and SWPLs. I can buy regionally sourced grass fed steaks at Wal-Mart, chicken feet for my broth at the mexican store and organic everywhere. Criminy man, I can buy Lambic at the Harris Teeter.

    It’s hard to fathom what the real strategy here is, if it’s to garner more support for the Amazon Anti-Trust crowd, it’s a huge win, beyond that, feels like a Waterloo for Bezos. I wouldn’t buy puts or go short Sears, err uh, Amazon, but I would sort through the debris for any potential buys.

    Tiger of the Cosmos

    June 17, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    • Let’s cut to the chase: Where do you get your booze?

      El Hombre

      June 18, 2017 at 1:12 am

    • America is prole. That’s all to it.


      June 18, 2017 at 9:02 am

  30. We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies, Lion. The world is a college of corporations, inexorably determined by the immutable bylaws of business. The world is a business, Lion. It has been since man crawled out of the slime. And our children will live, Lion, to see that… perfect world… in which there’s no war or famine, oppression or brutality. One vast and ecumenical holding company, for whom all men will work to serve a common profit, in which all men will hold a share of stock. All necessities provided, all anxieties tranquilized, all boredom amused. And we have chosen you, Lion, to preach this evangel.

    Why? Because you’re on the Internet, dummy. Thousands read you every so often.


    June 18, 2017 at 12:14 am

  31. IHTG

    June 18, 2017 at 7:36 am

  32. Anthony

    June 18, 2017 at 4:47 pm

    • Forced labor and flogging for recalcitrants – is what I say.


      June 18, 2017 at 6:52 pm

  33. i guess the reasoning is that amazon will make whole foods (sometimes called “whole paycheck”) affordable to more people.

    but seriously. whole foods was looking for a buyer. it was failing. how can amazon change that?

    i’m doubling my KR. so there!

    how is this related to pizza?

    June 18, 2017 at 5:34 pm

  34. Nothing says healthy living like getting organic food in the mail. Leave it to Jeffrey Bezos to see the trend of leaving snail mail for e-mail, and quickly get Amazon to use all that extra snail mail capacity to deliver your food. Brilliant. Of course for a yuuuge fee you can get a drone. Those hackers can defeat internet firewalls, but lets see them beat obesity when drones are full of rich food.

    Joshua Sinistar

    June 20, 2017 at 1:01 am

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