Amazon’s proposed $13.4 billion purchase of Whole Foods has rocked the grocery and retail industries.
An hour ago, Stew Leonard Jr. was one of the experts CNBC called on for expert reaction.
The president and CEO of the small but influential chain called the deal — which includes a store on the Westport border just a mile from Stew’s Norwalk flagship location — “a game-changer in the industry.”
Amazon’s technological know-how “will revolutionize how people buy food and get it delivered,” he added.
Leonard — whose grandfather Charles Leo Leonard founded the store’s predecessor, Clover Farms Dairy, and personally delivered milk straight from the farm to local customers — saw today’s announcement as a return to those days.
“The cost of the last mile of delivery has been dropping,” he noted.
Leonard also cited the growing number of millennials as a factor. Using his 31-year-old daughter as an example, he said that her generation expects every purchase to be deliverable.
However, he continued, “retailers have to get snappier” about how they present the purchasing experience.
“We try to make it fun,” he said, with plenty of animation and the chance to see mozzarella balls being made fresh.
However, he acknowledged, buying cereal and water in a store is far less exciting.
(Click here for the full 4:42 interview.)