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In an environment in which natural and organic food stores seem to be experiencing growth, Wild Oats announced yesterday that it will post a loss for the third quarter and the fiscal year, rather than the profits that analysts have been expecting.

For the full-year, Wild Oats said, same-store sales should be up between one and 1.5 percent. Third quarter results are scheduled to be announced on November 4.

This announcement comes just months after Wild Oats announced that it had struck a deal with Ahold-owned Stop & Shop to create a “store within a store” concept that would feature a Wild Oats section and private label products inside selected Stop & Shop units. Wild Oats also has a deal with Ahold-owned Peapod to sell its private label products via the Internet grocery service.
KC's View:
It seems that the notion of Wild Oats as a stand-alone brand is diminishing, and several people we’ve spoken to seem convinced that management is positioning the company for sale…though we can’t imagine to what entity, and for what amount of money, considering that its brand equity seems to be on the decline.

We don’t normally report when companies make projections about sales and earnings numbers, because we think it plays into the bottom-line obsession that too many retailers have. (We try only to report actual monthly and quarterly numbers because they are real.) But we are breaking our rule on this one because it is hard to figure how the company makes progress from here as a stand-alone entity.