Amazon’s $13.7 billion deal to purchase Whole Foods had people buzzing about which retailer would be snatched up next. Part of the reason for all the excitement is the Whole Foods deal is Amazon’s largest so far. It’s several times larger than the online retailer’s $970 million purchase of Twitch, a video game streaming platform, in 2014.
Here are some predictions for 15 stores Amazon might take over next.
Although Amazon is already in the clothing business, there have been whispers about a Nordstrom acquisition. New York University professor and brand expert Scott Galloway accurately predicted Amazon would buy Whole Foods. He’s now saying Amazon’s next step would likely be Nordstrom. Galloway told Recode purchasing Nordstrom would be a good move because it would be inexpensive, the retailer is in Seattle, and it is financially sound. He also said the acquisition would be a way for Amazon to connect with a high-end brand, which he says it hasn’t been able to do.
Next: This company could be a perfect fit for Amazon’s baby brands.
2. The Honest Company
Amazon made a pretty penny when it started selling its own line of baby wipes, earning $2.5 million in sales as of October 2017, according to e-commerce analytics firm One Click Retail. Amazon also just relaunched its diaper brand under the Mama Bear label. This renewed interest in baby care could mean Amazon is looking to dominate the baby products industry. Baby care is one of Amazon’s most profitable categories, growing 90% year over year, according to One Click Retail. One possible candidate for acquisition in this category is The Honest Company, which specializes in natural products for babies and families.
Next: It looks like Amazon is about to get into the pharmacy game.
3. Express Scripts
Suspicions about Amazon entering the pharmacy business might have been confirmed after the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Amazon won regulatory approval from 12 states to become a wholesale pharmaceutical distributor. According to the report, Amazon received approval for wholesale pharmacy licenses in Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Idaho, Oregon, and Tennessee. One pharmacy Amazon might be eyeing is Express Scripts. Acquiring this company would propel Amazon into the prescription drug delivery business.
Next: Pet owners would be happy with this deal.
Amazon sells its own pet products through the AmazonBasics line, but it’s always a possibility the company could explore further and acquire a pet care company. Bloomberg reports Amazon creates its own lines to fill inventory gaps. An acquisition of Petco could further help fill that gap. Because pet owners go to great lengths to make sure their furry friends are taken care of, the retailer would have no trouble making sales in this category. Customers can purchase Petco products from Amazon through its storefront, so this could be another step into the pet care business.
Next: This company could help Amazon move further into the activewear business.
Amazon recently got into the sportswear business through its private label. The retailer could further move into the activewear game if it purchases Lululemon. Activewear has been on the top of many young shoppers’ lists, especially since celebrities are pitching their own lines and activewear has become acceptable even when not at the gym. Early in 2017, there was talk of Amazon acquiring Lululemon, but it’s still a wait-and-see game for now.
Next: Could this sportswear retailer be next?
Amazon quietly released its own line of private-label clothing not too long ago. The line includes outfits for the office, dresses, and jackets sold under the labels Goodthreads and Paris Sunday. Footwear News reports the retailer is now entering the footwear business. Nike would offer Amazon the perfect mix of the activewear and shoe businesses. Bloomberg reports Eclat Textile, a Taiwanese supplier, is working on making apparel for Amazon. Eclat also produces apparel for Nike.
Next: This celebrity favorite would help Amazon dig deeper into the handbag business.
Amazon is also making moves in the handbag business. Its Amazon Fashion Collection includes shoes, handbags, and accessories. This could make Everlane another possible candidate for acquisition. The retailer specializes in clothing, handbags, and accessories, areas where Amazon is attempting to gain a foothold. Everlane has been gaining popularity among celebrities, such as Meghan Markle.
Next: This furniture giant could be one to watch.
Amazon is also getting into the furniture business. Furniture Today reported Amazon debuted two new in-house furniture lines. Amazon’s latest interest in furniture might lead some to wonder whether the retailer might be eyeing stores, such as Ikea, so it can strengthen its presence in the furniture market. Ikea products are already sold on Amazon’s website, so this could be the next step.
Next: This brand has a store presence and fits into the lifestyle category.
9. Warby Parker
A deal with eyewear company Warby Parker could be a possible move for Amazon because it has physical stores and is in a lifestyle category, Maxim Group managing director Tom Forte told CNBC. Forte pointed out these are goals Amazon wants to accomplish in a takeover. Right now, customers can purchase some of Warby Parker’s products through the Amazon website.
Next: Could this partnership lead to something more?
Another lifestyle brand that sells apparel and has physical stores is Kohl’s. This could make the department store a possible target for an Amazon acquisition. Kohl’s recently entered a partnership with Amazon, so a purchase could be the next step. Physical Kohl’s stores now prominently display products, such as Amazon Echo and Kindles, through Kohl’s Amazon shop.
Next: This big-box store is fighting to stay in the game.
Big-box retailer Walmart is also thought to be a potential acquisition target. This deal would meet all of Amazon’s goals in terms of having physical stores, selling apparel, and offering lifestyle items. A deal like this would put Amazon in direct competition with other big-box stores, such as Kmart and Target. Walmart is trying to stay on top if its game by purchasing online apparel vendor Bonobos. It also recently launched free two-day shipping without a membership, a move meant to rival Amazon Prime.
Next: Home improvement is a category Amazon has yet to enter.
One area Amazon has yet to explore is home improvement. Foursquare CEO Jeff Glueck said he predicts Lowe’s will be next on Amazon’s buy list based on Foursquare’s proprietary data. CNBC reports Foursquare anonymously analyzed foot traffic from more than 2.5 million Americans between January 2016 and June 2017.
Next: Does Amazon have its eye on another food brand?
13. BJ’s Wholesale Club
Some analysts speculate Amazon’s next move will be to take on another food brand. A move like this would get Amazon into the warehouse store market and put it in direct competition with stores, such as Sam’s Club and Costco. BJ’s Wholesale Club has a membership system similar to Amazon Prime, so this would be a natural fit for the online retailer.
Next: This organic brand would complement Whole Foods.
14. Sprouts Farmers Market
Another possible target is Sprouts Farmers Market, which is a natural and organic grocery chain. It was founded in 2002 in Phoenix. CNBC reports Supermarket News Retail Editor Jon Springer said a Sprouts deal would help Whole Foods further expand its private label brand.
Next: Is online food delivery in the works?
It is also speculated Amazon might be interested in expanding its food delivery options, furthering its move into the grocery industry. One business that could be a possible fit is food-delivery company Grubhub, said tech analyst Aaron Turner in a CNBC interview. He said it would nicely complement the Whole Foods acquisition because Grubhub is within a similar geographic area and there are similar customer and diner demographics.
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