Amazon-Whole Foods deal sends shares of grocery chains, big-box stores into dive

A passer-by walks near an entrance to a Target store in Watertown, Mass., on Dec. 19, 2013.
(Steven Senne / Associated Press)

Shares of big-box retailers and grocery chains sank Friday on news of Amazon’s planned $13.7-billion purchase of Whole Foods.

Shares of Kroger, owner of supermarket chains such as Ralphs and Food4Less, were down 14.41% to $21.02 Friday morning. Target shares fell 9.7% to $50.08, Costco shares were down 6.83% to $167.77, Wal-Mart shares fell 6.15% to $74.06, and Sprouts Farmers Market shares fell 7.09% to $20.83.

The combination of Amazon’s deep pockets, technological know-how and delivery service ambitions appeared to sully enthusiasm for the traditional grocery chains.

If the sale goes through, the partnership could also be a big blow to delivery start-ups such as Instacart, which has partnered with Whole Foods.


“This is a big wake-up call for all the grocers right now,” said Daphne Carmeli, chief executive of Deliv, a same-day delivery service. “This is just going to accelerate grocers to move online quicker.”

Twitter: @dhpierson


10:10 a.m.: This story was updated to include comments from Daphne Carmeli, chief executive of Deliv.

This article was originally published at 8:30 a.m.