Amazon will acquire Whole Foods Market in a $13.7bn deal, marking the biggest transaction ever for the e-commerce giant as it pushes deeper into groceries. The deal sends a shockwave across both the online and brick-and-mortar industries, uniting two brands that weren’t seen as obvious partners. When Amazon.com Inc.completes its acquisition of Whole Foods Market Inc., CEO Jeff Bezos will try to keep the grocer’s reputation for premium fresh foods while cutting prices to shed its “Whole Paycheck” image. Amazon expects to reduce headcount and change inventory to lower prices and make Whole Foods competitive with Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other big-box retailers, according to a person with knowledge of the company’s grocery plans. That included potentially using technology to eliminate cashiers. An Amazon spokesman denied any job cuts were planned. (esmmagazine.com)