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He has opened a couple Sunflower Markets in the Denver area in the past year. Whole Foods now has 5 stores in the Denver metro area (including 1 in Boulder). Wild Oats probably has about 15 stores in the area.

Whole Foods stores do extremely well and are always packed. Wild Oats is a very weak competitor and their stores have little traffic. I would definitely not invest in Wild Oats stock. I think the company is not well run and makes no money. Visit a Wild Oats then visit a Whole Foods. It is like night and day. Wild Oats originally started in Denver then expanded by overpaying for very weak chains and taking on a lot of debt. They are still trying to fix all the problems caused by their over expansion and heavy debt load.

I would not buy Whole Foods stock. I think it is a great company, but the stock is too expensive.

The Sunflower Stores are very bare bones and seem to target a more cost conscious consumer, but with many of the same products you find in a Whole Foods / Wild Oats. They seem to do a good business. Their locations are in less appealing areas where rents are cheaper. They are definitely not anything like a Whole Foods store.

Given the past history with Wild Oats and how he screwed up, I'd be careful about investing with this guy.

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