Whole Foods continues to list Fort Worth as a store in development. The April, 2008 issue of Fort Worth Business listed the construction start date as 2010.
Grocery stores like Whole Foods and Central Market are having a rough ride through this depressed economy. Whole Foods is a publicly traded company, which, in this case, is not in its favor. The share price is below $12 today, down from its high of $77 in 1997. It has been a slow and steady decline, which is not a good sign for investors and eventually, shoppers. Central Market is a privately held company and a division of HEB of San Antonio. Central Market's books are not open to public observation. My guess is that it has experienced what all retailers have experienced and that is a drop in sales and profits.
Not surprisingly, the trend in super markets is away from high price to the super-discount. This is partly due to the fact that the middle ground is already overserved by Krogers, Tom Thumb, Safeway, Acme, Albertsons, etc.
Fort Worth has yet to see the super discounters because of an extemely competitive middle ground presence and because of discounters like Walmart, Walmart Groceries, Sams and Costco. In other parts of the country shoppers see names like Trader Joes, Aldi, and now Fresh and Easy, in the West-- all super discounters with a minor emphasis on quality generic brands and organic brands. Sprouts is another niche food retailer going after the Whole Foods shopper with a smaller footprint store. I read that there are three Sprouts in Tarrant County but have not been to one.
But regardless of the trend and our need to find savings in food purchases, I hope that the plans for Whole Foods haven't changed and I hope Central Market can make it through these times. All Fort Worth food enthusiasts have grown accustomed to the food shopping, eating and browsing experience at Central Market. I hope it doesn't end.
If you know any changes in the plans for Whole Foods, or the viability of Central Market, please let me know.