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Wild Oats Health Food Store May Take Over Fresh & Easy

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Photo by cafemama on Flickr
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Though some Southern California are lamenting the loss of one player in the health food supermarket space, it may be gaining a replacement. Once defunct Wild Oats Markets Inc. is planning a comeback, potentially aided by local billionaire Ron Burkle. And there are talks of them taking over the 200 failed Fresh & Easy spaces.

Says the Times:

The trademark could cover a brand offering retail and online grocery store services, with features such as home delivery, phone-in orders, convenience store items and gasoline, according to the document. The application also described catering and take-out food services... Burkle is no stranger to supermarket deals. The magnate was the largest shareholder of Wild Oats when the brand was sold for $565 million to rival Whole Foods Market Inc. in 2007. Earlier in his career, Burkle handled leveraged buyouts of grocery chains such as Food 4 Less, Ralphs and Fred Meyer.

Burkle could well breathe new life into the former purveyor of organic and natural foods, who was bought out by Whole Foods. But after a drawn out battle with the FTC over violation of antitrust laws, they were forced to give up Wild Oats in 2007. The pysical locations of the stores were then parceled out to Trader Joe's, Kroger and Gelsons.
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We just hope the new stores have good parking lots planned. Because we just can't have any more of this going on, can we?