retail news in context, analysis with attitude

• The Seattle Times reports that Whole Foods' long-planned store for West Seattle won't be built after all, and the retailer is working with the developer to find a replacement tenant for the space.

The story notes that "the announcement comes as Whole Foods has been struggling, posting six consecutive quarterly declines in sales at stores open at least a year, and facing increased competition from a number of other grocers selling organic and natural foods ... Whole Foods is cutting costs, saying last month that it would be closing nine stores by April and shuttering its last three commissaries that made prepared foods for its stores. It also has terminated several leases in development."

Whole Foods has three other stores in the Seattle market.


• The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that "a flock of chickens in a Chattooga County commercial farm has tested positive for a low-pathogenic strain of the avian flu, the state Department of Agriculture said Monday.  It is the first confirmation of bird flu in commercial poultry in Georgia. 

"The entire flock was killed as a precaution, although Agriculture Commissioner Gary Black’s office said no infected animals entered the food chain and this strain of the avian flu does not threaten the food supply."
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