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The Cincinnati Business Courier reports that Barclays analyst Karen Short is saying that she “would not be surprised” if other companies - including Kroger and Target - make bids for Whole Foods that would compete with the $13.7 billion offer from Amazon.

"Even if those retailers don’t outbid Amazon, they could jump into the game to drive up the price and force Amazon to pay more," the story says, adding that "the Amazon-Whole Foods deal has left analysts guessing about what will happen in an industry with already shrinking profit margins that has been in a transition. On Monday some watchers floated an idea that Kroger could enter into a huge merger with Dutch supermarket operator Ahold Delhaize in order to better battle Amazon."

Meanwhile, the Washington Post reports on how "analysts and investors speculated that Seattle-based Amazon could be setting its sights on organic grocer Sprouts, discounters DollarTree and Dollar General, and used-goods purveyors such as Plato’s Closet and Once Upon a Child. The Whole Foods deal, analysts said, signaled that Amazon — which until now had focused mostly on scooping up niche businesses and technology start-ups — is serious about buying established bricks-and-mortar businesses.

"'Amazon has opened Pandora’s box by showing a willingness to spend billions of dollars,' said Tom Forte, managing director of Maxim Group, an investment banking firm in Manhattan. 'Now analysts like myself can have fun making speculations on what types of acquisitions are next.'

"Forte, for his part, has outlined 18 immediate opportunities for Amazon, including expansion into hardware stores, gas stations and pharmacies. But the most obvious targets, he said, are BJ’s Wholesale Club (which would come with a network of gas stations), Warby Parker (which could help Amazon get into the prescription-eyeglasses business) and Everlane (which has made a business being transparent about the pricing of its American-made apparel)."
KC's View:
First of all, "guess" is the operative word here. I'm not sure how many folks would've predicted the Whole Foods deal, and Jeff Bezos is nothing if unpredictable.

Will there be repercussions? Sure. Collateral damage? Almost certainly. Unexpected developments? Probably.

More surprises? I'd bet on it. The winners will be the companies that are able to keep the competition off balance. At this point, I think we all know what company has been doing this.