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    Whole Foods to Close Some Stores; Completes Sale to Smart & Final

    AUSTIN, Texas -- Whole Foods Market, Inc., based here, said yesterday that it plans to close nine of the 74 Wild Oats and Capers banner stores Whole Foods it acquired when it purchased Boulder, Colo.-based Wild Oats Markets Aug. 31. Another eight stores will be located to existing Whole Foods Market sites in development, the retailer added.

    AUSTIN, Texas -- Whole Foods Market, Inc., based here, said yesterday that it plans to close nine of the 74 Wild Oats and Capers banner stores Whole Foods it acquired when it purchased Boulder, Colo.-based Wild Oats Markets Aug. 31. Another eight stores will be located to existing Whole Foods Market sites in development, the retailer added.

    Whole Foods also said that it has completed the sale of all 35 Henry's Farmers Markets and Sun Harvest Markets stores, as well as a related distribution center in Riverside, Calif., to a wholly owned subsidiary of Los Angeles-based food retailer Smart & Final Inc.

    Whole Foods got about $166 million for the net assets of these stores, consisting mainly of leases, fixed assets, and inventory.

    All of the Henry's stores are in California, and all of the Sun Harvest stores are in Texas. Whole Foods acquired the stores as part of the Wild Oats deal.

    Additionally, Whole Foods and Smart & Final have entered into a support agreement, according to which Whole Foods will continue to provide certain products and services for the 35 stores for up to two years. Whole Foods expects that the revenue associated with the agreement will approximately equal its incremental cost of providing the support.

    The retailer also said it opened a record 21 new Whole Foods Market stores during the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2007, including eight stores in the fourth quarter.

    Whole Foods operates 276 stores in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

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