By Richard Turcsik
It is a jungle out there in the world of food retailing, and
that became especially evident last month when Amazon
announced its intent to acquire Whole Foods Market
for $13.7 billion ($42 per share) in an all-cash transaction
that sent shock waves through the retailing industry.
Nationwide, Whole Foods holds a mere 2.7-percent of the
$669 billion supermarket industry, yet analysts see the deal
as a potential marriage between the brick-and-mortar and
e-commerce sectors of retail. According to analysts at Kantar
US, 28 percent of Whole Foods shoppers already shop at
Amazon for groceries, the most of any other grocer, and
both monthly Amazon and Whole Foods shoppers tend to
be younger, more affluent and urban. The acquisition may
open up Whole Foods to a much larger audience, as only 11
percent of Amazon shoppers shop Whole Foods today.
“Amazon will become an even more formidable player in
food retail, accelerating the path they are already on,” says
Randy Burt, a partner in the Consumer and Retail practice of
Chicago-based A. T. Kearney. “They are likely to move quickly
to leverage strengths in digital engagement, understanding
of consumers and the customer experience, and operational
excellence to significantly improve both the experience and
price point at Whole Foods.”
Under the deal, Whole Foods Market will continue to
operate stores under the Whole Foods Market banner and
source from its vendors and partners around the world. John
Mackey will remain as CEO of Whole Foods and the com-
pany’s headquarters will remain in Austin, Texas.
“This is certainly Amazon’s “DEAL OF THE DAY,” says Donald
J. Stuart, managing director at Cadent Consulting Group,
based in Wilton, Conn. “But $13.7 billion to buy Whole
Foods? What’s next? A turbocharged Amazon Fresh or an
accelerated Amazon Go?”
In tandem with its longstanding goal of becoming the
leading global information platform for the foodservice
and retail industries, Winsight, LLC has entered the
$669 billion grocery segment with the acquisition of
Grocery Headquarters from Macfadden
“This investment is essential to achieving our goal of becoming the global
information platform for foodservice and retail industries,” says Ward Downing,
president of Winsight Media, based in Chicago. “Grocery is the largest channel
for food retail in the United States, and with more consumers choosing retail-
ers for their foodservice occasions, the lines between segments continue to blur,
making the acquisition of a grocery trade publication a perfect fit for our cur-
In preparation for its entry into the market, Winsight has hired a stellar team
of seasoned supermarket industry B2B professionals, including Jeff Friedman,
who will direct the overall brand, and Meg Major, who will lead the editorial
content operations. Joining the team from Grocery Headquarters are Richard
Turcsik, executive editor; Natalie Taylor, senior editor; and Rebekah Marcarelli,
Most recently with Progressive Grocer, Friedman and Major are joined at
Winsight by their former PG colleagues, Janet Blaney and Shari Levenson.
“I’m thrilled to join Winsight to lead the B2B grocery platform, which will
offer comprehensive intelligence and unparalleled touch points to our customers through our existing brands: CSP, Convenience Store Products, Restaurant
Business, Foodservice Director and Technomic,” says Friedman, executive vice
president of grocery.
Friedman, Major, Blaney and Levenson join the content and sales leaders
at Winsight Media, which currently include Sarah Lockyer, Chris Keating and
Richard Price, all of whom had senior leadership roles at Supermarket News.
“In the coming months, we will reinvent Grocery Headquarters with a complete redesign of the print magazine, website and related digital offerings, alongside a significant refresh of a more robust content strategy focused on compelling and engaging industry insights, analysis and commentary, in-depth profiles,
research-based insights and comprehensive category features,” says Major.
Winsight’s commitment to providing relevant, useful information in award-winning print and digital products will be apparent in the reinvention of Grocery
Headquarters. “Winsight’s design and editorial teams are unmatched in the
industry, and the same style and content will be applied to the company’s newest brand to ensure its customers receive a high-quality Winsight product,” says
“Our team is proud of the success we’ve achieved, and we believe our company is well positioned for future growth in this new industry,” says Downing.
Winsight, LLC is a leading business-to-business media, event, data and information company specializing in the convenience-retailing, restaurant and noncommercial foodservice industries.