Now that the Whole Foods organic supermarket chain has finally completed its acquisition of former competitor Wild Oats Markets, it’s time for the horrible price gouging we were warned about to kick in. That’s why today Whole Foods announced a permanent price reduction at all Wild Oats stores in the Rocky Mountain Region, and stated that all Wild Oats stores in its hometown of Boulder will remain unchanged. Wait—what? Of course, this amounts to mostly a publicity stunt (or goodwill gesture, depending on your level of cynicism); at least one Wild Oats store in another part of the country has already been closed.
One of the more interesting announcements following today’s completed tender offer is that the company plans to pursue “a new experimental concept called Whole Foods Market Express, featuring a value-oriented product mix, grab-and-go offerings.”
Value-oriented products? Lower prices? Maybe the gouging will happen next year. It always takes a while for these acquisitions to sort themselves out.
“Whole Foods’ Real Work Begins” [The Motley Fool]
“Whole Foods Completes Wild Oats Purchase” [Natural Products Insider]
“Wild Oats to close; more Whole Foods may open” [The Courier-Journal of Louisville, Kentucky]
(Photo: Aaron Gustafson)