Whole Foods To Close Nine Stores & Scale Back Expansion Plans

Whole Foods to close 9 stores amid sluggish sales

Whole Foods Market said Wednesday it will close nine stores in the second quarter as it abandons its goal to open 1,200-plus stores.

“We’re going to continue to grow, but I think we’re going to be a more disciplined growth company than we have been in the past,” John Mackey, co-founder and CEO of Whole Foods, told analysts on the company’s first-quarter earnings call.

Mackey called the closing of the nine stores a “difficult but prudent decision” and said the company will now have more targeted site selection and “continued moderation in ending square footage growth.” He said these moves together will “result in a healthier bottom line, increased cash flow and higher returns.”

Still, the Texas-based company also said it welcomed 14 new stores in the first quarter, including two outlet relocations.

Mackey added the retailer remains “optimistic about the future growth potential for our 365 format but we want to see how this next round of stores perform before getting more aggressive.”

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CERTIFIED, INC. $20 MILLION FUNDING

CERTIFIED, INC. $20 MILLION FUNDING

Boca Raton, Florida – Nov. 21, 2016 – CERTIFIED, INC. has announced an agreement with Switzerland-based Galileo Asset Management SA (galileoam.com) to assist in the acquisition of $20 million of equity funding. Such funding will expedite CERTIFIED’s international distribution and usage of their breakthrough disruptive smartphone VERITY™ scanning app. Read more of this post

“Organic” Food From China Found To Be Highly Contaminated

Food imported from China and labeled “organic” is anything but.

Chinese Market

With more and more people learning about the importance of eating healthy and safe produce, consumer demand for all things “organic” has skyrocketed. In the US alone, annual organic food sales have grown by 20% and the increased demand is significantly outpacing domestic supplies, forcing many grocers and food vendors to look internationally to keep their businesses stocked. Most of these organic imports are grown in the European Union, where organic standards are weaker than those of the US. However, many of these “organic” products are from China, whose food industry standards for safety and quality are notoriously low. Much of this “organic” produce grown in China is so unsafe, that the farmers who grow it won’t eat it themselves. Isn’t that the whole point of choosing organic in the first place?

It turns out that much of the food labelled “organic” was never grown with the intention of being organic, but rather as a means to circumvent China’s reputation for substandard produce. US Customs personnel often reject entire shipments of food from China due to the addition of dangerous and unsavory additives, the presence of drug residues, mislabeling, or the poor hygienic state of the food. In an effort to get around these bulk rejections of food, some Chinese food exporters have taken to labeling their products “organic,” especially those foods that appear dirty or unusual. In addition, the “organic” label in China has no meaning as collusion between the government and manufacturers has led to rampant mislabeling, and China’s government has no established system for determining what is or is not organic.
Chinese Fish Master

Dead fish being removed after a fertilizer factory dumped huge amounts of ammonia into the Fu river Credit – NYT

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Marriott to Provide Customers ‘Made in USA’ Towels and Bath Mats in Its U.S. Hotels

03-11-16 Marriott Made in USA Towels

BETHESDA, Md. (March 10, 2016) – In a first for the U.S. hospitality industry, Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) announced today that it will provide “Made in USA” towels and bath mats in every guest bathroom in nearly 3,000 U.S. hotels. Buying “Made in USA” towels and bath mats benefits U.S. manufacturing communities such as Thomaston, Ga., and Union, S.C., where manufacturing company Standard Textile is producing them with 100 percent cotton fiber grown in the U.S. Read more of this post

The Big Business Behind The Local Food

The big business behind the local food

Produced is displayed at a Whole Foods Market Inc. store in Oakland, California. Photograph by David Paul Morris — Bloomberg via Getty Images

Grocery chains and big box retailers are aggressively expanding their locally grown offerings. But there are real concerns about what consumers are getting when they buy “local.” Read more of this post

Walmart ‘Great for You’ Healthy Labels: Nutrition Experts Say ‘Devil in the Details’

 

BY BRIAN JOHNSON AND ENJOLI FRANCIS  –  WASHINGTON, Feb. 7, 2012

As Walmart announced plans today to label certain foods with a new green “Great for You” label, some diet and nutrition experts told ABC News they applauded the move, while others questioned whether a company that sells food could set objective standards for what is healthy.

Dr. Darwin Deen, a family doctor and nutrition educator, told ABC News that “an independent opinion of a food’s healthfulness is a good idea but as always, the devil is in the details.”

Walmart, the largest food retailer in United States, will put the new label on select products that meet defined criteria.in its Great Value and Marketside lines. Customers will begin to see the new label on products starting in the spring.

The company said the “Great for You” products meet the rigorous nutrition criteria established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Institute of Medicine.

“Moms are telling us they want to make healthier choices for their families but need help deciphering all the claims and information already displayed on products,” said Andrea Thomas, senior vice president of sustainability at Walmart. Read more of this post

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