Thursday, February 22, 2007

whole foods is going to buy wild oats

of course i do NOT go to wild oats at bishops' corner (west hartford) because of the whole cheese 'n stuff fiasco (cheese and stuff was a cool 'natural' foods store in hartford. it had been a neighborhood mainstay for MANY years. all of a sudden wild oats came along and bought it. they SWORE up and down they WOULD NOT move that store. the FIRST thing they did was move the store from hartford to west hartford. that left MANY hartford residents with no grocery store. hartford does NOT have many grocery stores by the way. why? i don't know. they just don't. anyway, i boycotted the store). i do shop at whole foods in west hartford center. i try to go at off hours so i don't run into the 'west hartford type crowd'. if they change the wild oats in bishops' corner to a whole foods, i'll shop there as well. i've yet to get to a trader joe's. there is one in the area as well. i hear good things about that too.

Whole Foods Agrees to Buy Wild Oats; Profit Declines By Josh Fineman Feb. 21 (Bloomberg) -- Whole Foods Market Inc., the largest U.S. natural-foods grocer, said it agreed to buy rival Wild Oats Markets Inc. for $565 million after reporting its first profit decline in five quarters. Whole Foods will pay $18.50 in cash for each share of Boulder, Colorado-based Wild Oats, 18 percent higher than its closing price today. First-quarter net income fell 7.8 percent to $53.8 million, or 38 cents a share, Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods said today. Earnings missed analysts' estimates. Buying Wild Oats will help counter slowing growth at Whole Foods, which faced competition from Safeway Inc., Trader Joe's and other grocery stores selling organic and prepared food. First-quarter sales at Whole Foods stores open at least a year rose 7 percent, down from 13 percent a year earlier. ............

Whole Foods Buying Rival

Paying $565 Million To Acquire Wild Oats

By DAVID KOENIG, Associated Press
.......Both chains have markets in Connecticut, most notably in West Hartford, where they are in direct competition. Company officials said they would evaluate which stores might close after the purchase is completed in April.

The West Hartford Wild Oats store has a special notoriety, scorned by many local shoppers for the company's role in closing a beloved local natural foods store in Hartford's West End.

On January 29, 2000, Cheese & Stuff, which had been a fixture in the West End since the mid-1970s, was closed after being bought by Wild Oats, despite promises to the contrary.

David Barrett, president of the West End Civic Association, greeted news of Wild Oats' buyout with a sense of justice and some glee......

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cgg said...

Whole Foods always feels so large to me. It's like the Wal-Mart of organic food stores. I'm floored by how much is available. Big fan of Trader Joe's, though they're more about the exotic than organic.

kevin said...

Hartford does have grocery stores, just not the high profile ones. there's the embattled Stop and Shop on New Park Avenue (with all it's union-busting), two Save-a-Lots (Park St. in Frog Hollow and North Main St), a Megafoods on New Britain Avenue near Washington St., then a host of C-Towns (at least 3 that I can think of). Then, there are smaller cornerstore-type of groceries, like Rumaldo's on New Britain Ave and Rose Gourmet on Pratt Street. The reason I bring this up is not to critique your post, but to remind readers that we often suburbanize our view of Hartford. Hartford, like many cities, has a more localized economy. Places like the heart of Park St or New Britain Ave exist without large corporations. Nearly every business is a small business. People often don't (or don't have to) leave their neighborhood to get what they need.

Now, the concern is that maybe the smaller stores, unlike Whole Foods, may not be providing the best quality stuff to consumers. That is changing. For one thing, places like C-Town and Rumaldo's will sell local produce. Often they do a better job than Stop and Shop at stocking only vegetables and fruits that are in-season. At my local C-Town on Wethersfield Ave, they've started to carry soymilk and a few organic things. Rose Gourmet, located downtown, has a very good selection of food by Newman's Own and Kashi and other organic, non-processed foods and drinks (plus a kick-ass lunch counter).

For me, providing patronage to your local mom & pop is still a noble thing to do, perhaps better than burning fossil fuels to drive to West Hartford Center or Bishops Corner. And, there's growing evidence that if you want it, they will stock it.

I'm not convinced that encouraging larger companies into our cities is the best route to take. See the Wild Oats example.

a rose is a rose said...

the whole foods in west hartford (where i went shopping today coincidentally) is not that huge. it IS full of idiots though. well not all idiots but lots of 'em. take the family i saw. mom dad and daughter and son. they were GRAZING the aisles. literally. they didn't look hard up but one never knows. they had ONE thing in their cart but they sure were going to town at the bulk bins. i watched them (not on purpose but we were on the same path more or less) for over 1/2 hour. still that one thing in their cart yet they were all chewing up a storm (i left them at the salad bar).

i will try trader joe's. it's over by westfarms mall and it's not that it's wicked far but it IS father than the whole foods. they have the BEST couscous salad cgg. giant couscous (i think it's called isreali) dried cranberries, spring onions, pecans.....oh my!

i just got back from my popi's house (where by the way i clogged up his sink/disposal). i called a plumber and left my pops a check. oh, that's not what i was going to tell you. i was going to tell you i made up a batch of pasta with cauliflower, olive oil, onions, broccoli rabe. all of which (except the olive oil) i got at whole foods today.

ok ok, i'll shut up now

a rose is a rose said...

kevin, i stop at a bodega on sisson ALL of the time. i also stop in frog hollow and the d&d in the south end. there are two jamaican joints i stop in as well. i am a hartford grrrl through and through. sure, i spent most of my growing up in west hartford, but i'll never get hartford out of my heart. i shop in west hartford most of the time because that is where i live. i try to patronize mom and pop stores of ALL kinds. yes, they even have them in west hartford too (take cosmos international for example).

oh there is a little farmers market on the corner of farmington and one of those streets (it's across from the cvs and the bank of america) in the spring and summer. i stop there ALL of the time.

kevin, i'm NOT disagreeing with you by the way