Amazon.com Inc.’s retail strategy is under a microscope right from the time of its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods Inc. in mid-June as investors are surprised what Amazon plans to do with Whole Foods and what will happen to other bricks-and-mortar retailers next.
“Amazon is an e-commerce retailer evolved in understanding and accepting the physical retail stores strategic value,” said Brittain Ladd, who left in May Amazon for family reasons after working there for two years, first as the senior manager of strategy and expansion for AmazonFresh and then as the senior manager of Amazon Global Logistics for the Special Projects unit.
If anyone besides, Jeff Bezos, the Amazon CEO, can accurately predict that’s next for the e-commerce dominator, it might be Ladd. He suggested that Amazon should buy Whole Foods and he posted to LinkedIn back in 2013 while he was working for Deloitte. He was recruited in 2015 to Amazon and since then, the company’s grocery expansion plans have followed a similar path to that Ladd laid out in 2013 note that was republished in May 2016 on LinkedIn. He’s now working as a consultant in Salt Lake City.
Ladd trusts that Amazon is too strategic and surgical with its M&A activity to absorb a struggling retailer like Macy’s Inc. At the same time, just because now Amazon is in a strong winning position and is buying a struggling company like Macy’s, it does not mean that Amazon can save it. Ladd believes that Amazon will use the locations of Whole Foods’, expand into other retail formats, including furniture, appliances, apparel, and shoes, rather than focusing on a specific retail chain.