Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Whole Foods Gets Fresh: From Setting Up Shop in Gayborhoods across the Country to Donating Profits to Queer Causes, Whole Foods Has Gone out of Its Way to Make Nice with the Gays. but for Some LGBT Customers, the Organic Grocer's Recent Takeover of Rival Wild Oats Has Put a Black Spot on Whole Foods' Leafy-Green Image

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Whole Foods Gets Fresh: From Setting Up Shop in Gayborhoods across the Country to Donating Profits to Queer Causes, Whole Foods Has Gone out of Its Way to Make Nice with the Gays. but for Some LGBT Customers, the Organic Grocer's Recent Takeover of Rival Wild Oats Has Put a Black Spot on Whole Foods' Leafy-Green Image

Article excerpt

"Given the choice between Whole Foods and the regular supermarket, I would walk the extra two blocks to the regular supermarket," says Zachary Violette, a 24-year-old gay man in Boston.

Violette's distaste for Whole Foods may have something to do with the oodles of bad press the chain has received of late. After it was announced in February that the company intended to buy Wild Oats for $565 million, Whole Foods' chief executive and cofounder John P. Mackey was unmasked as "Rahodeb," the writer of more than 1,200 blog posts blasting Wild Oats on a Yahoo stock market forum. "Would Whole Foods buy OATS?" Rahodeb asked. "Almost surely not at current prices. What would they gain? OATS locations are too small." The Securities and Exchange Commission opened an investigation into whether the posts violated fair disclosure rules. Meanwhile, the Federal Trade Commission filed a suit to stop the merger, arguing that it would unfairly limit competition. U.S. district court judge Paul Friedman disagreed and refused to block the merger. And on August 23 the U.S. court of appeals upheld that ruling, denying an FTC request to delay the sale. …

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