Antitrust regulators approved Amazon's planned $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods shortly after the grocer's shareholders voted to approve the deal.The shareholders met at the grocery chain’s headquarters in Austin, Tex., early on Wednesday, and later that day, the Federal Trade Commission's acting director of its competition bureau, Bruce Hoffman, effectively approved the deal by ending a cursory investigation into any antitrust implications."Based on our investigation we have decided not to pursue this matter further,"Hoffman said. "Of course, the FTC always has the ability to investigate anticompetitive conduct should such action be warranted.”Even though the transaction itself doesn’t raise obvious antitrust red flags, there have been growing concerns over what effect the merger might have on other grocery stores.The current plan is for completion of the transaction by the end of 2017. The deal is still subject to other customary closing conditions.Amazon said in June that it would pay $42 a share in an all-cash deal that includes Whole Foods’ debt. The grocery chain, which has sales of $16 billion, has 460 stores across the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Employees total 87,000 in number.When the proposed transaction was announced on June 16, Whole Foods cofounder and chief executive officer John Mackey said, “This partnership presents an opportunity to maximize value for Whole Foods Market’s shareholders, while at the same time extending our mission and bringing the highest quality, experience, convenience and innovation to our customers.”Mackey is slated to continue as ceo of the grocery chain, and its headquarters is expected to remain in Austin.Amazon has been expanding into different categories. It recently launched its own private-label brands, has inked deals with big names such as Nike and set up a box delivery program called Prime Wardrobe.The e-commerce market platform hasn’t had much success in the grocery business. The thinking among some is that Amazon could use some of the space in Whole Foods to provide space for either showcasing select items available at Amazon.com or for pick-up to help expand its same-day delivery distribution network. Others think Amazon might leave the business as is for now as it learns from Whole Foods how it manages day-to-day operations in a brick-and-mortar setting.
Breaking: @cushnieetochs’ co-founders @carlycushnie and @ochsmichelle are parting ways. After a 10-year run, Ochs is leaving the brand. Get the full story on WWD.com – link in bio. #wwdnews #wwdfashion
@maybelline’s Kanako Takase had snow bunnies in mind when creating the beauty look for @philipppleininternational. Playing off of the bedazzled snowboards in the collection, Takase mixed two highlighters together for a luminous sheen. #wwdbeauty #nyfw (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
“There’s a huge gap between the old way of doing things and today. It takes the youth to help evolve that. You have to count on the kids today to help lead you into the future. A lot of these retailers are stuck in the past. Communication is the biggest thing,” said @ronniefieg of @kith on the youth’s role in retail. On Monday night, Jeff Staple moderated a keynote session with Fieg and @syresmith at Assembly - a series of workshops, talks and keynotes addressing topics or issues in the apparel industry. Head to WWD.com to read more advice from Fieg and what Smith thinks of his dad @willsmith’s Instagram account and sustainability (📷: @weston.wells)
@joansmalls closed the @michaelkors fall 2018 show in black sequined pants and a varsity T printed with 19 on the front and 81 on the back. 1981 – the year Kors went into business. #wwdfashion #nfyw (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
“You think your life is going to be a certain way, and nothing you thought would happen ends up happening. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be designing clothes and working with Mickey Drexler, and building something I’m deeply proud of,” said Jenna Lyons. Nine months after leaving @jcrew, Lyons is exploring the meaning of happiness. Read the interview, where Lyons talks about reinvention and more on WWD.com – link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Farrell) #jennalyons #jcrew