Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods sent the grocery world into a tailspin, but it also got people curious as to what Amazon's next purchase might be.
A Brief History Of Amazon
In order to predict Amazon's next purchase, one will need to take a look at its previous acquisitions. For the first decade of its existence, Amazon's purchases consisted mostly of websites with a focus on books and movies. For example, its first acquisition was IMDB and from there it purchased several book-themed sites.
In terms of brand expansion, 2014 was a particularly busy year for Amazon. The company made a push into the video game sector by acquiring the video game studio Double Helix Games and Twitch, a popular video game streaming service. Another purchase of note was Amazon's acquisition of the digital comic retailer, ComiXology. With this purchase, Amazon effectively cornered the market on digital comics sales.
Of course, 2017 is already shaping up to be a major year for Amazon. In addition to entering the retail grocery market with the purchase of Whole Foods, the company also secured a new market with the purchase of one of the Middle East's largest online retailers, Souq.
Beyond Whole Foods
Predicting Amazon's next purchase isn't easy, but the purchase of Whole Foods does clue us into the kind of stores that Amazon would be interested in. It doesn't just want large brands — it wants brands that cater to a specific lifestyle. Industry analyst Tim Forte noted that Amazon might be interested in purchasing clothing brands such as Everlane or Lululemon. Amazon seeks to use its purchases to expand into markets where it doesn't already have much influence. We don't expect Amazon to acquire any bookstores, for example, because it sells plenty of books online. However, clothes are something that many people prefer to buy in person.
In addition to clothing, the company could also invest in a high-end footwear brand. Of course, shoes can be bought online, but, like clothing, there is always the risk that they won't fit or look quite right.
One other area that Amazon might expand into is coffee shops. They cater to a particular lifestyle and carry a product that people prefer to buy in person. We don't expect them to be purely coffee houses, but places where consumers can sample various kinds of coffee and then take them home. It's a long shot, but few people expected Amazon's purchase of Whole Foods.
In short, we expect Amazon's next acquisitions to focus on lifestyle brands that expand the company's reach into markets that it has traditionally failed to penetrate.