Amazon Buying Whole Foods? What Small Businesses Can Learn

The Importance of Continuous Innovation

Amazon(NASDAQ:AMZN) just announced plans to purchase Whole Foods (NASDAQ:WFM). The deal, valued at about $13.7 billion, also offers a few potential lessons for small businesses.

Whole Foods, which broke onto the scene offering stores full or organic food options, has struggled and faced pressure from advisors to sell or merge with another company. Amazon, a company that has broken into seemingly every market out there through acquisition or expansion, seems like a perfect fit.

Now, it’s unlikely that small businesses will be involved in many deals of this magnitude. But you can still learn from what Whole Foods and Amazon accomplished and from the challenges they face.

For its part, Whole Foods was able to disrupt the grocery industry with a unique concept. But as the years passed and more competitors broke into the space, it failed to adapt quickly enough to keep profits high. Amazon, on the other hand, started as an online bookstore and then proceeded to evolve quickly, breaking into new markets ranging from music streaming to grocery delivery.

The Importance of Continuous Innovation

Both brands were based on innovative concepts when they began. But only one company was able to keep up with the times enough to remain profitable. That doesn’t mean your small business has to break into every industry under the sun. But it can be beneficial to keep an eye on new trends and opportunities so that you don’t let your business fall into complacency and be swallowed up by a sea of competitors who are willing to adapt to thrive.

Whole Foods Photo via Shutterstock

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Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

8 Reactions
  1. Amazon is a “great” company in the sense that everything is cheaper and faster, but i wonder if their “real” affect on our economy is positive?

  2. I want to know how Whole Foods will change with Amazon. It is a different type of product but I know that it will be quite valuable for the growth of Amazon.

    • I agree – if Amazon’s looking to get more into the grocery space it seems like a good move

  3. So does this mean that Amazon will finally move towards food now? That would be interesting.

  4. Amazon is really creating an empire. Whole Foods is not a small company and it managed to give it a decent offer to buy it. Interesting.