Grocery store stocks plummet after Amazon-Whole Foods deal

Whole Foods shares spiked 27% to $42, Amazon's offer price.

The grocery store operator was also under pressure from activist investor Jana Partners. That includes potentially using technology to eliminate cashiers.

The damage didn't stop there: Food companies themselves, like Hershey and Campbell Soup, also slumped because of investor concerns that Amazon will do for their products what it does for everything else - cut prices ruthlessly. Whole Foods shares surged 30 percent. It has four "365 by Whole Foods Market" stores that are cheaper to build and operate than a traditional location and offer lower-priced items aimed at younger shoppers. Although Amazon's plans for Whole Foods is not clear, the acquisition has some wondering what will happen to the chain's existing stores. The employees remaining would help improve the shopping experience, the person said.

While analysts do not know for sure yet what the impact will be, stock prices today for Amazon and Whole Foods shot up Friday, while prices for traditional retailers like Walmart, Target, Kroger, and Cosco fell.

"The entry of the king of web retail into the food space has to rattle the other companies", said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer at Commonwealth Financial Network.

As Fortune's John Kell wrote on this very website, the deal is a shot across the bow for Amazon's bitter rival Walmart, the top grocer in the US and No. 1 on this year's Fortune 500.

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That's frustrated investors saddled with a drop of almost 43 percent from the start of 2014 through Thursday, while the rest of the stock market marched 32 percent higher to record heights.

Just two years ago, Whole Foods CEO John Mackey predicted disaster for Amazon's foray into grocery delivery, telling Bloomberg BusinessWeek it would be "Amazon's Waterloo".

Following the announcement of Amazon's plan to purchase Whole Foods Market, Inc. The move, worth some 12.5 billion euros plus debt acquisition, will give Amazon a physical presence on high streets to sell fresh food and other goods.

For Amazon, the deal marks an ambitious push into the $670 billion grocery business.

"We are always concerned when there is some loss of brick-and-mortar stores out there", Mullins said after just hearing of the news early Friday.

Groceries have been something that Amazon has always had their eye on.

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