Whole Foods Investment Could Spur Change

Whole Foods Market has hit the wall. The business model that once looked unstoppable has developed unforeseen flaws, challenging management to figure out how to keep the company on course in an economic downturn during which comparable-store sales have slid from double-digit growth into negative territory. The announcement earlier this month that Whole Foods has agreed to sell 17%

AUSTIN, Texas — Whole Foods Market here has hit the wall.

The business model that once looked unstoppable has developed unforeseen flaws, challenging management to figure out how to keep the company on course in an economic downturn during which comparable-store sales have slid from double-digit growth into negative territory.

The announcement earlier this month that Whole Foods has agreed to sell 17% of its equity to a subsidiary of Los Angeles-based Leonard Green &

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