Whole Foods Market Acquires Seven Dominick's Leases

AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Whole Foods Market, Inc. (Nasdaq:WFM) today announced the acquisition of leases from Safeway Inc. for seven locations formerly operated as Dominick's stores. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"We are incredibly excited about this opportunity to quickly and significantly expand our presence in the greater Chicago area," said Michael Bashaw, Whole Foods Market Midwest Regional President. "These locations fit well with our 19 existing stores as well as the three stores currently in development.  We plan to remodel each store to reflect its community and look forward to offering fresh, natural and organic foods to a broader base of Chicago customers."  

The Company expects the locations to remain closed for remodeling in 2014 and re-open as new Whole Foods Market stores in 2015. The transaction is expected to be slightly dilutive to earnings per share in fiscal year 2014, primarily due to the pre-opening rent associated with these new leases.  The Company will announce its first quarter earnings on February 12, 2014 and will offer additional information at that time.

The leases are for the following locations:
Edgewater  6009 N. Broadway Avenue
Lincoln Park 959 W. Fullerton Avenue
Streeterville   255 E. Grand Avenue
West Loop   1 N. Halsted Avenue
Elmhurst  215 S. Route 83
Evanston  2748 Green Bay Road
Willowbrook  6300 S. Kingery Highway 

The Company has three stores in development in the Hyde Park and Englewood neighborhoods of Chicago and in Lake Forest with openings scheduled through calendar year 2017.

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