September 24, 1999

1 Min Read
Whole Foods' New E-Commerce Subsidiary

AUSTIN, Texas--Whole Foods Market (WFM) formed a new subsidiary, WholePeople.com, as part of its strategy to harness more than $79 billion in sales from 44 million estimated consumers. WholePeople.com was made possible by a merger of two of WFM's businesses, Amrion Inc., its nutritional supplement business, and WholeFoods.com, its e-commerce web site.

The site will offer an expanded scope of products, including natural and organic foods, nutritional supplements and herbs. There will also be products related to alternative and holistic medicine, along with information and services, including ecologically-friendly products, outdoor and wilderness products, travel packages, and cooking and gardening accessories. The company predicts that sales on the site will come from more unique categories in the future, with only a small percentage of sales coming from products already in the brick-and-mortar stores.

Additionally, WFM has partnered with American WholeHealth Inc., a provider of integrated medicine. The partnership gives WFM the exclusive e-commerce license to American's WholeHealthMD.com. It will also allow for American to open 50 new health centers adjacent to Whole Foods locations in the next five years.

In related news, WFM bought 800,000 shares of Real Goods Trading Corporation, a Calif.-based retailer of environmental and renewable energy products. The acquisition of shares gave WFM a 16.4 percent ownership in the company, and enables Real Goods to be a strategic partner in the WholePeople.com initiative.

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