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(article, Kim Carlson)
Say what you will about Whole Foods (and there have been a few different pronouncements on these pages), most would agree that it's a clean, well-lighted place for decent food. Most of the offerings at Whole Foods look and taste good — and aren't bad for you. That’s what Londoners who visit the new Whole Foods in Kensington are discovering this week. On the first day of business, a reporter in this Reuters news video interviews a confident WF executive (not John Mackey, although he’s there breaking bread at the beginning), and winds up with the observation that the store will have to be a tourist destination, not a daily shopping destination, in order to succeed. But with dozens more Whole Foods planned for Britain and hundreds for the rest of Europe, Whole Foods as tourist stop can’t remain the case for long. Meanwhile, according to BusinessWeek, the Federal Trade Commission is challenging the Whole Foods acquisition of Wild Oats, which was announced in February. From the article: bq."Whole Foods and Wild Oats are each other's closest competitors in premium natural and organic supermarkets, and are engaged in intense head-to-head competition in markets across the country," Jeffrey Schmidt, director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition, said in a June 5 news release announcing the agency's lawsuit aimed at blocking the sale. "If Whole Foods is allowed to devour Wild Oats, it will mean higher prices, reduced quality, and fewer choices for consumers. That is a deal consumers should not be required to swallow." I may be mixing apples and oranges here, but as regulation goes in the world of food, doesn’t it seem as if the government has bigger things to worry about?