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    Wild Oats Markets Strengthens Merchandising Team

    BOULDER, Colo. - Natural and organic foods retailer Wild Oats Markets Inc. has made changes in its organizational structure to further strengthen its merchandising department.

    BOULDER, Colo. - Natural and organic foods retailer Wild Oats Markets Inc. has made changes in its organizational structure to further strengthen its merchandising department. The changes reflect an increased emphasis on research and development, and category management.

    John Taylor, former director of the company's food service department, has been named senior director of quality assurance and research and development. In this newly created position, Taylor will oversee research and development of Wild Oats' food service and private label product lines. Additionally, he will direct the company's quality assurance and product standards initiatives to ensure the highest quality natural and organic products are made available to customers. Taylor has led the Wild Oats Food service department for two years. His previous experience spans several operations, management, and research and development positions at national restaurant corporations, including Harrah's Entertainment Inc., Morrison Restaurants Inc. and S&A Restaurant Corporation.

    Annie Hunt, who has served in several merchandising management capacities at Wild Oats for more than seven years, has been named vice president of food service. Hunt brings a tremendous amount of industry knowledge to this role, and will focus on building the company's food service program nationwide. She most recently served as vice president of Wild Oats' grocery department.

    Replacing Hunt as vice president of grocery is Brandon Bagley. Bagley joined Wild Oats in 2001 as director of merchandising services with responsibility for chain-wide pricing, shelf-development, retail merchandising and category management initiatives. Management of all functions within the grocery department has been added to his current responsibilities, including sales and procurement. Bagley brings more than 15 years' experience in the food retailing industry to Wild Oats. He was most recently director of corporate pricing for Smith's Food & Drug Centers, based in Salt Lake City, Utah.

    Wild Oats Markets Inc. is a nationwide chain of natural and organic food markets in the U.S. and Canada. With annual sales of nearly $900 million, the company currently operates 103 stores in 23 states and British Columbia. The company's natural food stores include Wild Oats Natural Marketplace, Henry's Marketplace, Nature's - a Wild Oats Market, Sun Harvest Farms and Capers Community Markets.

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