The economic downturn is causing execs at Whole Foods to fret that people will be less willing to donate their whole paycheck to the store’s upscale goods.
Analysts say the upscale grocer probably will have to trim its earnings forecast for the current fiscal year and announce further cuts to capital spending or new-store plans when it reports fiscal fourth-quarter results Wednesday…
The purveyor of natural and organic foods said in August it would reduce planned store openings for its fiscal 2009, which began Sept. 29, and suspend its quarterly dividend. Chief Executive John Mackey said the environment was “the most challenging I have experienced in my 30 years in retail.”
Economic conditions since have worsened, making it even harder for the company, based in Austin, Texas, to attract customers to the gourmet foods that account for much of its profit, such as $15-a-pound sesame-crusted salmon and $9-a-pound mushroom-leek strudel.
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