Grocery, retail stocks plunge on Amazon-Whole Foods deal

June 16, 2017

Amazon.com Inc.'s proposed $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc. is sending the stocks of grocery store operators and other companies that compete with Whole Foods plunging.

Investors worry that Amazon, which has already won over hordes of shoppers of clothing, electronics and many other kinds of goods, wreaking havoc on department stores and other brick-and-mortar retailers, will do the same thing with groceries.

Investors seem to like the deal and think it will be good for the online retail giant, which has been expanding its grocery offerings. Amazon's stock, which recently traded over $1,000 a share for the first time, was up $34.15, or 3.5 percent, at $998.56.

Whole Foods Market helped start a trend toward natural and organic foods, but its stock has struggled in recent years and recently the company shook up its board and said it would cut costs.

The stock peaked at $65.24 per share in October 2013 and traded as low as $28.53 in March. On Friday, it soared $8.87, or 27 percent, to $41.92, pennies below the $42 a share Amazon agreed to pay.

Whole Foods has four stores in Indiana, including locations at 1300 E. 86th St. in Indianapolis and 14598 Clay Terrace Blvd. in Carmel. The other state locations are in Mishawaka and Schererville.

The grocer is expected to open another local store later this year on the ground floor of the 360 Market Tower apartment project on the northeast corner of Alabama and Market streets, setting up a potential food fight among grocers in the downtown market.

Sinking retail shares, as of 11:15 a.m.:

— Wal-Mart Stores. The giant retailer sank $4.98, or 6 percent, to $73.91.

— Target. The retailer fell $5.55, or 10 percent, to $49.90.

— Costco. The wholesale club company gave up $12.44, or 6.9 percent, $167.64.

— Supervalu. The grocery store operator lost 60 cents, or 16 percent, to $3.16.

— United Natural Foods. The purveyor of natural and organic foods suffered gave back $6.07, or 16 percent, to $33.94.

— Kroger. The grocery store chain declined $3.42, or 13.9 percent, to $21.14.

— Sysco Foods. The food distributor sank $2.46, or 4.4 percent, to $53.07.

— Cal-Maine Foods. The egg producer fell $2.85, or 7.3 percent, to $36.25.

— CVS Health. The drugstore company lost $3.64, or 4.5 percent, to $76.45.


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