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The Motley Fool has an interesting dissection of the problems plaguing Wild Oats.

Beyond suggesting that the company’s stated desire to attract a more mainstream customer that chief rival Whole Foods actually means that it is offering a less differentiated – and therefore less compelling - shopping experience, Motley Fool writes that a major issue is focus and consistency:

“The company operates about 100 stores under at least four different formats: Wild Oats Natural Marketplace, Henry's Farmers Market, Sun Harvest Farm, and Capers Community Market. Critical to success in retail is execution, and it is hard to imagine how the company can optimize processes across these different brands and formats. In addition, the company is further diluting management's focus by pursuing other, marginal strategies -- sales through Internet grocer Peapod and a store-within-a-store concept with Stop & Shop.”
KC's View: