Whole Foods Gets Fresh & Wild

Jan 19, 2004
George Anderson

By George Anderson

Whole Foods announced on Friday it will buy Fresh & Wild, a small natural foods grocer operating seven stores in the UK.

The acquisition marks Whole Foods first venture overseas.

John Mackey, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Whole Foods was quoted by Reuters as telling analysts, “We’ve decided that we want Whole Foods to be an international
company and we believe it will be successful throughout the U.K. and throughout Europe.”

Moderator’s Comment: What do you see as the pros and cons of Whole Foods’ international expansion?

Whole Foods gets a toehold in the UK for a relatively small amount of money ($38 million). It will provide a good test with little downside if it fails.

John Mackey and company should know that making it in the US is no guarantee in the UK. Even more than that, making it in the US and UK has little bearing
on how well stores will do in markets that remain as diverse as ever even if the Euro is a common currency.

Anderson – Moderator

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