Another CEO Plays The Crying Game

TO: John Mackey, CEO – Whole Foods Market

FROM: Deborah – a Whole Foods customer and occasional shareholder*

SUBJECT: Meditate on Manners

Do you seriously think that your whiney emails and blog posts calling the FTC “biased, adversarial and arrogant” are going to endear the committee to approve your acquisition of Wild Oats?

Do you seriously think that Whole Foods customers reading your blog as well as news reports of your comments are pleased to know that you want to limit their shopping choices which always results in higher prices for the consumer?

You’re upset because supermarkets and some big box retailers are now selling organic produce, which except for prepared foods, is one of your biggest profit items. This is what you and your new found fans at the Wall Street Journal editorial board like to emphasize as “competition”.

I shop at Whole Foods every week. I do not buy any organic produce there (or at any other store). The only prepared food I buy is your Bakehouse bread because – guess what – I cannot find any other store in the area that sells bread without sugar and 99 other chemicals in it. The only item I use that the supermarket carries in addition to Whole Foods is Seventh Generation laundry detergent.

Until I can buy items like Alba Terra Tints natural tinted lip balm and the latest issue of The Mountain Astrologer at the local supermarket, the FTC is absolutely right and doing their job as an advocate for the consumer by rejecting your acquisition of Wild Oats because your two companies offer “a distinct set of products and services to a distinctive group of customers in a distinctive way.”

Looking at the WFMI stock chart, it doesn’t look likely that you’ll get your wish to buy OATS. Maybe a period of meditation and yoga will result in a new business plan as it looks like more favorable transits will aspect the stock chart near year end.

* I do not currently have a position in WFMI. I would not buy the stock above $30.

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