Last week, Bloomberg reported that Amazon had considered a takeover of Whole Foods. The companies might seem like an odd match, but considering Amazon’s broader strategy — tapping its massive, nationwide shipping and customer service apparatus to become the biggest player in any market it chooses — the calculus makes sense.
It’s already very difficult to avoid Amazon. Books were just the pilot program. Amazon now sells just about everything, and it’s aggressively investing in automation and artificial intelligence in order to maximize on its various monopolies.
Amazon owns many brands that are the leaders in their sphere, including Alexa, IMDb, Zappos, ComiXology, Diapers.com, and Soap.com. It has a piece of the wedding industry, the video game industry, the music industry, the home improvement industry, and more. Why not groceries?
The Amazon takeover is already happening with retail more broadly. The company has grown to a 34 percent share of the entire retail market, facilitating a slow decline of big box stores like Wal-Mart and Target. Amazon is expected to control 50 percent of the U.S. retail market by 2021, according to Needham & Company, a Wall Street analytics firm.
As Amazon continues its march towards ubiquity, here’s a look at all of the pieces that are making it happen.