Whole Foods' Reality More Complex Than CEO's Portrayals

Whole Foods' co-founder, Chairman and CEO John Mackey is a brilliant retailer with a keen eye for consumer preferences. He's also a superb deal-maker, a fact underscored by last month's announcement that Whole Foods plans to acquire arch rival Wild Oats to create a natural and organics powerhouse. Yet Mackey hasn't done as good a job in outlining the chain's competitive challenges. A student of Whole

Whole Foods' co-founder, Chairman and CEO John Mackey is a brilliant retailer with a keen eye for consumer preferences. He's also a superb deal-maker, a fact underscored by last month's announcement that Whole Foods plans to acquire arch rival Wild Oats to create a natural and organics powerhouse.

Yet Mackey hasn't done as good a job in outlining the chain's competitive challenges. A student of Whole Foods would need to rely on more than Mackey's public commentary to gain a real under

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