NATURAL RETAILERS POST HEALTHY SALES GAINS

AUSTIN, Texas -- The country's two largest natural/organic foods supermarket companies posted strong quarterly results last week at a time when most mainstream supermarket companies have been experiencing flat sales at best.But industry analysts wondered if Whole Foods Markets, Austin, Texas, and Wild Oats Markets, Boulder, Colo., would be able to expand their store base fast enough to maintain their

AUSTIN, Texas -- The country's two largest natural/organic foods supermarket companies posted strong quarterly results last week at a time when most mainstream supermarket companies have been experiencing flat sales at best.

But industry analysts wondered if Whole Foods Markets, Austin, Texas, and Wild Oats Markets, Boulder, Colo., would be able to expand their store base fast enough to maintain their current high level of comparable-store sales growth.

At Whole Foods, comps f

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