By Abha Bhattarai, washingtonpost.com
Amazon.com sent a shock wave through the grocery industry Friday when it announced plans to buy Whole Foods Market and formally enter the world of bricks-and-mortar retail.
The $13.7 billion deal brings to a head a years-long battle brewing between Amazon, the online darling, and traditional retail powerhouses likes Walmart. And it shakes up a U.S. grocery industry that has been struggling to keep up with growing competition, both in stores and online. Amazon, which for years has been testing new technology and innovations in quiet corners, would now have a network of physical locations to test and implement those ideas.
News of the deal sent shares of traditional retailers like Walmart, Target, Costco and Kroger tumbling as much as 13 percent as investors tried to digest the implications of an Amazon-backed grocery chain.
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