Whole Foods, Gaiam Merge Internet OperationsWhole Foods, Gaiam Merge Internet Operations
June 23, 2000
BOULDER, Colo.--The merger of the Internet properties of Whole Foods Market Inc. and Gaiam Inc. resulted in the creation of Gaiam.com Inc. Gaiam.com will incorporate Gaiam's "lifestyle" products with the natural products offered on Whole Foods' WholePeople.com website.
In addition to WholePeople.com, Whole Foods contributed its two other websites, HealthsmartVitamins.com and BioenergyNutrients.com, to the merger. The deal gave Gaiam 50.1 percent ownership of Gaiam.com Inc. and gave Amrion Inc. [formerly WholePeople.com and 80 percent-owned by Whole Foods as a subsidiary] a 49.9 percent ownership.
At the executive level, John Mackey, chief executive officer of Whole Foods, will serve as president. Jirka Rysavy, chief executive officer of Gaiam, will serve as chairman. "We respect Gaiam's lifestyle approach to business," said Mackey. "Their technological savvy and superb e-commerce execution will be tremendously beneficial to Whole Foods Market customers."
In addition to the website merger, the two companies will promote each other's products through cross marketing. Gaiam products will be offered in 20 of Whole Foods' largest stores, and Whole Foods Markets will be promoted on the Gaiam.com website. The companies will also share customer databases.
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