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    Whole Foods a ‘Deal’ in Manhattan

    When comparing the prices of 97 items, specialty grocer comes in 2nd

    Whole Foods, the nation’s largest natural foods retailer, is a bargain when it comes to shopping in Manhattan, according to a study led by Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Jennifer Bartashus. The study compared the prices of 97 common grocery items, including orange juice and frozen pizza, and the items from Whole Foods came in at $391.39, the second-lowest price in Manhattan. The lowest was $347.10 at Fairway Market.

    But Whole Foods beat out several other retailers, including Gristede’s ($458.84) and Fresh Direct ($398.44).

    The company has recently begun fighting back against its “whole paycheck” moniker by reducing prices on core products, especially organic produce. Whole Foods is facing stronger competition from Sprouts Farmers Market, The Fresh Market, Natural Grocers by Vitamin Village and even Walmart, as the latter discounter teamed up with Wild Oats to offer organic products in its stores. Whole Foods also recently broke ground for a new store in Chicago’s Englewood neighborhood, a food desert and one of the poorest, most violent areas in the city. The company’s co-CEO Walter Robb announced a new marketing campaign that will begin this fall to help boost sales; the effort marks the first national campaign by the retailer and will focus on how Whole Foods is different from other grocery retailers. Whole Foods reduced its sales forecast in July, indicating a revenue increase of 9.9 percent rather than the 11 percent previously predicted.

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