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The last few months have not been easy ones for the small companies that supply Whole Foods with quinoa and kale. As big investors demanded a shake-up at the company, maybe even a takeover by a much bigger supermarket chain, Janey Hubschman felt that the fate of her own company, Epicurean Butter, was also at stake.

"The fact that their sales have not been great affects every single product that is in Whole Foods, and their reputation affects everything that is on the shelf," says the Colorado businesswoman, who has been selling to Whole Foods since 2005.

Updated at 9:20 a.m. ET on June 19

Amazon is buying Whole Foods, in a merger that values Whole Foods stock at $42 a share — a premium over the price of around $33 at the close of trading on Thursday. The Internet retailer says it's buying the brick-and-mortar fixture in a deal that is valued at $13.7 billion.

Whole Foods, which opened its first store in Austin, Texas, back in 1980, now has 465 stores in North America and the U.K.

SEIU organizer Patience Malaba leads a protest while Amazon shareholders enter the company’s annual shareholders meeting in Seattle in May.
KUOW Photo / John Ryan

Big companies often tout the good they’re doing for the planet. Reducing energy use, buying green energy, things like that. But they often reveal much less about the harm they do.

Like Amazon. With its data centers, warehouses and delivery trucks, the computing and retail giant has grown into one of the nation’s biggest users of energy.


Amazon is attempting to lure low-income shoppers from Walmart by offering a discount on its pay-by-month Prime membership for people who receive government assistance.

The giant online retailer said in a statement Tuesday that people who have a valid electronic benefits transfer card — used for programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programs, or food stamps — will pay $5.99 per month for a year. Amazon is offering a 30-day free trial for qualifying customers.

The AmazonFresh Pickup site in Ballard.
KUOW Photo/Angela Nhi Nguyen

Amazon Prime members can now pick up their groceries without getting out of their cars. This is part of a new service they’re trying out called AmazonFresh Pickup.

But what does that mean for traditional grocery stores?

Protesters outside Amazon's annual shareholder's meeting hold up a RoboBezos sign
KUOW photo/Kate Walters

As shareholders heard about revenue gains at Amazon’s annual shareholder meeting Tuesday, protesters gathered outside the building.

The company’s revenue grew to $136 billion in 2016, up from $107 billion the year before. Amazon also grew its employee base to more than 340,000 people worldwide in 2016.

The online retail giant shows no sign of slowing. And as the company continues to grow, Amazon is facing pressure on social and political issues.

Workers watch the ceremonial first planting in The Spheres at Amazon campus on Thursday.
Stephen Brashear/AP Images for Amazon

You've seen the big, glass orbs in Seattle's South Lake Union neighborhood, right?

The Amazon spheres.

Jeff Bezos speaks at the Apollo rocket engine unveiling at The Museum of Flight, showing the injector plate from an F-1 rocket used on Apollo 12.
Courtesy of The Museum of Flight/Ted Huetter

Jeannie Yandel talks to Alan Boyle of Geekwire about the possibility of taking a hybrid, electric plane for short regional trips and Jeff Bezos' dream of people in space. 

Amazon.com logo
Flickr Photo/Guillermo Esteves (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke talks to GeekWire's Todd Bishop about Amazon's stock and how it will be affected by their grocery business. 

Amazon says a typo caused its cloud-computing service to fail earlier this week.

On Tuesday, part of Amazon Web Services stopped working. The company's so-called simple storage service, or S3, provides features ranging from file sharing to web feeds.

In an online statement, Amazon described the circumstances of the disruptive typo this way:

Amazon.com logo
Flickr Photo/Guillermo Esteves (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Bill Radke talks to Todd Bishop, co-founder of the technology news site Geekwire, about the crash that slowed and stopped websites using Amazon's Web Service. 

A view of the Columbia Tower. Trump Hotels wanted to buy property near here and erect the tallest building in Seattle.
Flickr Photo/Antonio Campoy (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/3eEJaw

Trump Hotels said this week that it plans to build a luxury hotel in Seattle, according to Bloomberg.

Amazon announced on Thursday that it’s adding 100,000 jobs nationwide by the middle of 2018.

It's a huge growth spurt for the Seattle-based company. The hiring will boost Amazon's U.S. workforce from 180,000 to 280,000 people in just 18 months time. The company had just 30,000 workers back in 2010.

Fast shipping and now fashion from Amazon

Jan 8, 2017

When you think of Amazon.com, fast shipping may come mind, but does fashion?

The equity research firm Cowen and Company estimates that Amazon's share of the apparel and accessory market last year was 6.6 percent and will keep climbing. 

And the retail behemoth has been developing several in-house brands, for items like kids' clothing and men's shirts.. It also recently posted some "brand manager" positions for a private label active wear line.

Click the above audio player to hear the full story.

Amazon's personal assistant device called Echo was one of the most popular gifts this Christmas. But this week, the device grabbed headlines for another reason: Police in Arkansas are trying to use its data in a murder investigation.

Amazon released an online ad for their convenience store, Amazon Go.
Screenshot from YouTube

Bill Radke speaks with Forbes staff writer Ryan Mac about Amazon's announcement that they'll open a convenience store with no checkout. Mac says to check your excitement and take the announcement with a grain of salt. 

Presidential candidate Donald Trump, pictured here 2013 Conservative Political Action Conference.
Flickr Photo/Gage Skidmore (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/e41ELr

Deb Wang speaks with Seattle Times economics columnist Jon Talton about the economic promises President-elect Trump made during the campaign and how local businesses like Boeing and Amazon might be affected by them.

Boeing’s Shared Services Group (SSG) is set to move to the southwest state by 2020.
Flickr Photo/Chuck Taylor (CC BY-NC-ND)/https://flic.kr/p/7C1E9w

Bill Radke speaks with Emily Parkhurst, editor in chief of the Puget Sound Business Journal, about what a Donald Trump administration means for local businesses. 

Amazon.com
Flickr Photo/Soumit Nandi (CC BY NC ND)/http://bit.ly/1VOQgCK

Bill Radke speaks with Julia Angwin, ProPublica reporter and author of the article "Amazon says it puts customers first. But its pricing algorithm doesn't."

Todd Bishop of GeekWire
KUOW Photo/Gil Aegerter

Bill Radke talks to Todd Bishop of Geekwire about this mysterious "Project X" in Ballard and why he thinks it's the home of a new drive-through grocery store. 

Birkenstocks
Flickr Photo/Simon D (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/f6vQ64

Bill Radke speaks with Todd Bishop about why Birkenstock has decided to stop selling their iconic shoes through Amazon's online marketplace.

Todd Bishop uses Amazon Dash to keep on top of his young son's Play-Doh needs.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Bill Radke speaks with Geekwire's Todd Bishop about Nintendo's surprise success in Pokemon Go and Amazon Dash's foray into toys. 

Varsha Raghavan, backstage at Cafe Nordo in Seattle's Pioneer Square
KUOW Photo/Marcie Sillman

Varsha Raghavan defies the tech-bro stereotype.

For one thing, as a woman, technically she’s not a bro. And while Raghavan works as an Amazon programmer, she isn’t obsessed with all things computer.

Britain's decision to leave the European Union is shaking investor confidence around the world. Stocks plunged, staged a minor rebound and then trailed downward as the uncertainty caused by the Brexit vote sunk in.


Amazon cracks down on fake customer reviews

Jun 7, 2016
Todd Bishop and KUOW's Bill Radke geek out over nausea-free virtual reality in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Bill Radke speaks with Geekwire editor Todd Bishop about Amazon suing over fake reviews being posted on the site. The online store is also cracking down on people who pay for fake positive reviews.

Courtesy of New York Times/Evan McGlinn

Bill Radke speaks with Kirk Johnson, Seattle bureau chief at The New York Times, about the families he met while reporting a story on Mary's Place Guest Rooms, a new shelter for homeless families in South Lake Union.

Amazon plans to put offices next year in this former Travelodge in downtown Seattle. Until then, it will act as a shelter operated by Mary's Place.
Google Maps

Homeless families in Seattle will start moving into a building owned by Amazon on Monday.

The old downtown hotel is a plush space for a shelter, according to the nonprofit that will run it.

'Week in Review' panel Joni Balter, Michael Maddux, Kim Malcolm and John Carlson.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Amazon is donating a building a temporary homeless shelter in Seattle. What role should the business community play in solving homelessness? Also, the troubled Western State Hospital has a new CEO. Will that help solve it's problems? And, should Washington ditch the sales tax in favor of an income tax?

Kim Malcolm chats over the news of the week with Seattle Channel's Joni Balter, KVI's John Carlson and Michael Maddux, chair of the King County Young Democrats.

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Kim Malcolm talks to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray about Amazon's announcement that it will be turning one of its vacant South Lake Union buildings into a homeless shelter in partnership with Mary's Place. 

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