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Old 02-22-07, 11:57 AM   #1
donnamb 
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Whole Paycheck's buying out Wild Oats.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/6387627.stm

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Old 02-22-07, 12:21 PM   #2
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I guess East Tennessee isn't a hotbed organic foods market. I hadn't even heard of Wild Oats until now.
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Old 02-22-07, 12:22 PM   #3
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Intersting. Not sure about the impact it will have, but interesting.
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Old 02-22-07, 12:22 PM   #4
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Yeah heard the news this morning. I love Whole Foods. Good stuff there
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Old 02-22-07, 12:23 PM   #5
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I guess East Tennessee isn't a hotbed organic foods market. I hadn't even heard of Wild Oats until now.
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Just come to Colorado. You'll understand real quickly
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Old 02-22-07, 12:25 PM   #6
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Wow...interesting. There have been plans to build a Whole Foods just a block away from the Wild Oats location here in Salt Lake. It was actually something I was looking forward to, in hopes that it would allow for a price decrease in the store. Now I wonder if they are even going to build a Whole Foods store here at all.

While I think it an overall positive trend for "organics" and healthy living to be moving more into the mainstream, I wish it was done more on a local level, rather than through corporate big business.
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Old 02-22-07, 01:08 PM   #7
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Tennessee isn't the worst offender, but in general the Southeast doesn't eat very healthfully.

I wonder if there's any correlation with organic food sales?
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Old 02-22-07, 03:06 PM   #8
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I went to whole foods for the first time on Colorado, I loved it. Never heard of Wild oats though.
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Old 02-22-07, 03:21 PM   #9
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There was a bit of controversy when Whole Foods moved into Portland ME recently having to do with lobsters. I don't remember the details but I think they were not planning on buying their Maine lobsters from Maine lobstermen...WTF??
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Old 02-22-07, 03:47 PM   #10
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I don't remember the details but I think they were not planning on buying their Maine lobsters from Maine lobstermen...
I don't think it would be legal to sell lobsters as Maine lobsters unless they were caught in Maine waters. Otherwise, the lobsters would just be American lobsters.

Why would anyone want to buy non-Maine lobsters in Maine? I remember having some lovely lobster sandwiches in Maine...

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Old 02-22-07, 04:58 PM   #11
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$565 million dollars is a huge purchase, they are borrowing money to make the deal, that adds costs in interest, they'll have to cut management and overhead to make this work out. The big share holders of Wild Oats will be on vacation very soon, yeee ha! It just reduces the competition in the category, won't have too much effect except in towns where the stores are close to each other. Both stores are very similar, but I think Whole Foods pricing seems a bit higher.

I agree with Shadiyah, I shop in local natural foods stores as much as possible, and the farmer's market even more during the time it's open. We are fortunate here to have great local choices in organic and natural foods.
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Old 02-22-07, 06:44 PM   #12
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I don't know, I guess it's alright. WIld oats is a fantastic store. Then again, Whole foods is a great place as well. I wish there was one close to me. Regardless, I am happy to see natural food type stores do well.
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Old 02-22-07, 07:15 PM   #13
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Wild Oats sucks. In Hartford, CT they bought out a neighborhood natural foods store called Cheese & Stuff promising to keep it in the city. Then they not only moved it to the wealthy & white suburb, they managed to keep possession of the original building so no competition could re-emerge there. As I said, they suck.
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Old 02-22-07, 08:32 PM   #14
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I think I'll like this move...
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Old 02-22-07, 08:41 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritehsedad
There was a bit of controversy when Whole Foods moved into Portland ME recently having to do with lobsters. I don't remember the details but I think they were not planning on buying their Maine lobsters from Maine lobstermen...WTF??
at first, they stopped selling live lobsters altogether because they deemed it cruel to the animal (long transportation, excessive handling). when maine fishermen demonstrated their method of handling, WF was impressed and okayed its sale in the state of maine
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Old 02-22-07, 10:11 PM   #16
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I don't know, I guess it's alright. WIld oats is a fantastic store. Then again, Whole foods is a great place as well. I wish there was one close to me. Regardless, I am happy to see natural food type stores do well.
Have you tried Fresh Market on Rt 1 in Portsmouth?
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Old 02-22-07, 11:32 PM   #17
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Doesn't really affect me since neither is close enough to shop at anyway. I do think that bigger is not better for organic/natural foods... too much pressure to cut quality in order to compete with the big stores (Safeway et al). I am stuck with having to believe the claims of the growers at the Farmer's Market in the summer and accepting the wilted compost in the "organic" aisle at the local One Stop Shopping Center in the winter.
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Old 02-23-07, 12:00 AM   #18
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I was listening to MarketPlace on the radio this evening about this very topic. A writer for a magazine (forgot the name of the magazine, some organic commerce magazine) was interviewed and predicted that prices will probably NOT fall. There isn't much price difference now between the two.

I have to agree with the comment. I don't see much in terms of price differences between Whole Paycheck (WP) and other similar stores in the area. The difference I see is my local coop (Olympia, WA--which ROCKS, btw) vs. PCC (Seattle local coop) or Whole Foods, with my coop much cheaper. I don't shop WP unless there's a special ingredient (puff pastry for portabello wellingtons) that I need and don't want to buy huge-corporation (pepperidge farm) products.

The person interviewing asked what could hurt by this merger...and the writer mentioned that many people who shop "organic" also tend to support local businesses, thus, this kind of merger won't necessarily make good business sense...people might be more likely to shop at the family run business* than some large corporation. I don't know if we can say this anymore; many people now shop organic because it's healthier for them, period, and don't have these politics.

Now, that there's less competition, there's not much reason to cut prices. Can you say Monopoly? At the end of the program, a guest commentator (not the person interviewed at the front of the program) reminded us that Federal Regulators still have to OK the merger, however, and that he hopes that the Feds take a long hard look at what is going to happen to competition should the deal go through.


*A locally-owned business put more dollars back into the local community than any other business. I forget the statistics....it's a lot.
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Old 02-23-07, 12:04 AM   #19
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Edit to above: It might have been BBC World that the guest commentator reminded us about Fed approval being needed.

I'm worried that production won't meet demand...prices will only go up...corporations will have more power to buy what is available...reducing availability to smaller ventures and making healthier, safer food only available to those with more income.

Victory Gardens, anyone?
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Old 02-23-07, 06:58 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadiyah
Wow...interesting. There have been plans to build a Whole Foods just a block away from the Wild Oats location here in Salt Lake. It was actually something I was looking forward to, in hopes that it would allow for a price decrease in the store. Now I wonder if they are even going to build a Whole Foods store here at all.

While I think it an overall positive trend for "organics" and healthy living to be moving more into the mainstream, I wish it was done more on a local level, rather than through corporate big business.
I doubt they will build a new Whole Foods now. I wouldn't mind seeing prices go down at Wild Oats though. I often go over to the one on 4th S. for lunch. Organic pizza and organic Cola rock!
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Old 02-23-07, 08:23 AM   #21
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If you can't afford to shop at expensive organic markets, please stop complaining about the price. Go to a normal grocery store or grow your own organic food. You can grow a startling number of food plants, herbs, and whatnot indoors or on a balcony in planters.

If you can afford to shop at expensive organic markets, quit complaining about the price. You can afford it. If you hate the price, shop at a normal grocery store or again, grow your own organic food.

Despite what they say, they're interested in your money much more than they're interested in fair trade, the environment, etc. The only reason they're interested in your health is so that you live longer to spend more money there.

While we have both Whole Foods and Wild Oats here in KC and I've shopped at both, I really despise them. I am paid well for my work and I could afford shopping there. Their business model is basically "tug at the heartstrings of liberal hoity-toity upperclass families with all our might" and it works, very well. Too bad it's a hoax.

By the way, many normal grocery stores sell organic foods (and sometimes it's the same brand you find at specialty organic markets) at more reasonable prices.
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Old 02-23-07, 08:34 AM   #22
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Don't forget your local grow co-op. Fresh food and your money stays local.

That said, I'm a hypocrite. I live maybe 100m from one of the city's largest Saturday morning markets and have never gone. So, anyway...
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Old 02-23-07, 01:22 PM   #23
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Wild Oats and Whole Foods are both in PDX. But New Seasons, a local chain, does much better business. In fact, New Seasons put one of the local Wild Oats out of business, and they also do much better business than the local Safeway.

I have friends who worked for Wild Oats when it was first starting up in Boulder, CO; and I used to shop at Whole Foods when it was just one store in Austin, TX. I'm amazed at just how large the natural foods industry has become in the last 20 years.

I also do a lot of shopping at the local farmers market when it's open.
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Old 02-23-07, 01:56 PM   #24
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im partial to the other Texas chain - Howard E Butt's HEB stores and its upscale gourmet "Central Market" sisters
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Old 02-23-07, 05:11 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ritehsedad
Have you tried Fresh Market on Rt 1 in Portsmouth?
I'm not sure. Is that wild harvest? That place is NICE.
Theres another one in Portsmouth called O'naturals. It's not really a store, but an organic fast food joint instead.
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