Such changes may be a long way off, and Amazon has plenty of time to change its strategy, with the $13.7 billion deal not expected to close until the second half of the year.The stock prices of large food retail chains, such as Costco, tumbled a bit.The Whole Foods store at the foot of the Oakland Hills is an always busy success story even as some customers expressed a range of views when asked about Friday’s bombshell announcement that online giant Amazon is snapping up the specialty grocer.No. Amazon says Whole Foods stores will keep their name and be run as a separate unit of the company.The deal, expected to close in the second half of this year, gives Amazon — which has been experimenting with various physical store concepts to make establish itself as a food purveyor – an instant expanse of 460 high-end stores across the US, in Canada and in the United Kingdom.Hartmann said he expects the online retailer to introduce some efficiencies to Whole Foods’ operation.Offering the most convenient shopping experience possible continues to drive the competition.Take the restaurant sector, where customer traffic is flat, digital orders are up 45 percent over the last two years. “This deal gives them credibility with consumers and a major foothold in that space”.America’s grocery stores are undergoing tremendous change. But there have been challenges. The logistics of moving fresh food are also complex.”Fresh foods are the final frontier for Amazon“, Portalatin said. And figuring out how to get it to your front door is the ultimate inconvenience for consumers. Shoppers skip the checkout line, and their Amazon accounts get automatically charged. And the deal expands Amazon’s workforce by about a quarter. “This shows that online is going to be very dominant in the grocery business – and very quickly”, said former Whole Foods executive Errol Schweizer.Especially among millennials, is that right? Kroger, which had been rumored late past year to be considering a takeover of Whole Foods, was down 14 percent.Yes. That’s an extraordinary penetration for a supermarket chain with just 431 stores.”In fact, Andy will be a great influence on the company, especially in leading our collection of exclusive brands offered online”.Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods Market sent the stocks of grocery store operators and other companies that compete with Whole Foods plunging Friday. “That is the reality today at Amazon, and it will no doubt become the reality at Whole Foods“, said UFCW President Marc Perrone in an email. “I think this is kind of a natural extension of Amazon’s business model”. The stores could teach cooking skills, hold classes and educate about food.Among those brick-and-mortar experiments was a cashless payment system. Supervalu. The grocery store operator lost 60 cents, or 16 percent, to $3.16. Having customers pick up their purchases in Whole Foods stores might help.