Whole Lot of Marketing
Going On


The Yanks are coming. Actually, we're already there, and, boy, do the British know all about it. Whole Foods, whose first branch outside the U.S. opens tomorrow (in the wonderful Art Deco building that once housed Barkers department store, in London's Kensington), didn't take any chances. For months now, the company has been running a serious PR blitz, even flying British journalists—a group notorious for its love of all-expenses-paid junkets—over to the States to check out the stores in New York, which may explain all of the ensuing, and endless, media coverage. Whole Foods is certain to rock the established British supermarkets, which have already been struggling to keep up with consumer demand for organic produce. The most common questions Londoners are asking is: 'Where is Whole Foods going to get all that organic food?' In fact, Whole Foods bought the local organic chain, Fresh & Wild, two years ago, specifically to test the U.K. market—a smart move that belies the image of the company, presented in so many newspapers here, as a bunch of sandal-wearing dreamers.

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