WILD OATS SOWS SEEDS OF DISAPPOINTMENT AS PROMOTIONS HURT PROFITS

BOULDER, Colo. -- Wild Oats Markets here last week said competition in certain areas is cutting into its profits. It expects to report a loss for the recently ended third quarter.The company said gross margins in the period were 27.5% of sales, down from 29.1% of sales in the second quarter. Aggressive pricing and promotions in some markets -- primarily in Southern California and Texas -- combined

BOULDER, Colo. -- Wild Oats Markets here last week said competition in certain areas is cutting into its profits. It expects to report a loss for the recently ended third quarter.

The company said gross margins in the period were 27.5% of sales, down from 29.1% of sales in the second quarter. Aggressive pricing and promotions in some markets -- primarily in Southern California and Texas -- combined with the costs of opening new stores have reduced profitability, the company said.

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