Amazon today said it would make a bid to acquire Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, making it the largest acquisition for the company by far.
The next-closest acquisition in price is $1.2 billion for Zappos, which happened all the way back in 2009. Since then it’s made a few big-ticket purchases like Twitch (around $1 billion) and Kiva Systems (a bunch of robots for around $775 million), but each one still pales in comparison to the bid it made today. And probably for good reason — Amazon is buying a wildly complex operation of grocery stores and logistical operations that keep those up and running.
Today’s bid for Whole Foods pits Amazon against Walmart and vice versa. Walmart recently acquired online retailer Jet. The company also said it would acquire Bonobos for $310 million this morning. But Amazon’s huge purchase — larger by a mile than any it’s done before — sent grocery stocks across the board into a sharp decline. It may just go to show how serious Amazon is about getting into grocery delivery and potentially brick-and-mortar operations if it’s willing to make an acquisition with a wildly high price tag compared to anything it’s done before.