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Whole Food, Wild Oats and Trader Joe’s

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John Mackey, the founder and CEO of Whole Food Markets (WFMI), allegedly used pen name “RahoDeb” (his wife name is Deborah) publishing his opinion on the stock at Yahoo Message Board. Here is the link to the mesages.

Of course, the thing really hits news is his comments about competitors, such as Wild Oats and Trader Joe’s. These are now being used by FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to block the attempt take over of Wild Oats. One reason FTC given is this take over will reduce the competition and increase grocery prices for consumers.

Personally I don’t think the combination of those two will create a monopoly in the market. Because I saw Trader Joe, although much smaller compared to Whole Foods or Wild Oats, seems doing very well in my neighbourhood (Creve Couer), and among some of my friends.

I think similar thing can be said for Home Depot as well. Home Depot stock did not do very lately mainly because of housing slump. But on the other hand, both my colleage and I felt the Home Depot store is too big that we really don’t want to spend time looking for things, unless we have to. We can always go to “True Hardware” or smaller stores because they are much smaller, easy to navigate, and friendly.

Besides the “ease of navigation, friendly environment”, high gas prices also helped the smaller neighbourhood stores in some way. It’s hard to imagine a person living in Chesterfield drive 15 miles to the Whole Food at Brenthood, to get some organic food. Because he/she can get most of things at Trader Joe’s at Chesterfield.

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