Purdue professor calls Amazon purchase of Whole Foods a ‘game-changer’

(AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — A Purdue University professor says the Amazon purchase of Whole Foods is a big disruption and a wake-up call for all grocery stores.

Richard Feinberg is a retail management expert and consumer science professor at Purdue University. He said this could be the start of something even bigger.

“I don’t know if you have ever played the game of Risk, where you take over pieces of the world one spin at a time. … Amazon’s goal is to take over the world,” said Feinberg. “And this is just another piece of their puzzle. This puts Whole Foods on every desktop.”

Their puzzle already includes textbooks, TV shows and shoes. But shoppers say, they’re all about it.

“This means that I don’t have to take [the kids] out and have them asking for toys,” Aubri Imus of White County said. “I can just simply order it, and have it sent to the house, and don’t have to worry about it.”

Ashley Brown of Lafayette said, “I think the convenience of Amazon is what I love the most. I can do it late at night when my kids are in bed. I don’t have the time during the day to go to the store, so that’s convenient for me.”

Feinberg says grocery chains like Kroger, Target and Wal-Mart are not ready for what Amazon is going to bring.

“I believe that every grocery store executive in the United States said, ‘Oh my goodness, look at this.’ It is a wake-up call for the Wal-Marts, and the Krogers and for all the other grocery stores out there,” said Feinberg. “They are going to have to up their game by adopting technology. That is what Amazon’s primary competitive benefit is, and it is going to make everybody better.”

He believes this purchase is going to truly benefit Whole Foods as well.

“They also know that Amazon does not takeover the business,” said Feinberg. “They let you do your business, but they just let you do your business better.”

Whole Foods has 430 stores nationwide including three in Indiana. Amazon purchased Whole Foods for $13.7 billion.

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