Reportedly, Amazon agreed to but grocery chain Whole Foods for $13.4 billion, in a deal that will instantly transform the company that pioneered online shopping into a merchant with physical outposts in hundreds of neighborhoods across the country.

After almost a decade selling groceries online, Amazon has failed to make a major dent on its own as consumers have shown a stubborn urge to buy items like fruits, vegetables and meat in person.

The acquisition, announced Friday, is a reflection of both the sheer magnitude of the grocery business about $800 billion in annual spending in the United States and a desire to turn Amazon into a more frequent shopping habit by becoming a bigger player in food and beverages.

In the past several years, Amazon has dabbled with stores, opening or planning more than a dozen bookstores around the country.