Wild Oats to Close Eight Stores

BOULDER, Colo. - Wild Oats Markets here said Tuesday that it would close eight stores, including all five of its Henry's Farmers Market stores in Arizona, on Dec. 16. In addition, the retailer said it would halt construction on a sixth Henry's store in Phoenix and take impairment charges for two Wild Oats stores, one of which would close when its lease expires next year.

BOULDER, Colo. - Wild Oats Markets here said Tuesday that it would close eight stores, including all five of its Henry‘s Farmers Market stores in Arizona, on Dec. 16. In addition, the retailer said it would halt construction on a sixth Henry‘s store in Phoenix and take impairment charges for two Wild Oats stores, one of which would close when its lease expires next year. Wild Oats said it would take a charge of $25.5 million during its fiscal fourth quarter, accounting for $13.8 million in asset impairment charges, $11.2 in lease liabilities and $500,000 in employee severance costs. The Henry‘s closures reflect a difficult competitive environment and poor brand recognition in Arizona, Gregory Mays, interim chief executive officer of Wild Oats, said in a statement, adding that the company would retain its two Wild Oats stores in the market and focus future development in Arizona exclusively on its Wild Oats banner. Wild Oats stores set for closure next month are located in Omaha, Neb.; Salt Lake City; and Fort Collins, Colo. The company said savings from these closures would be directed toward the company‘s existing store base.