Whole Foods Market preps to open long-awaited Leaside store

Grocer moves ahead with new location despite recent financial setbacks

Whole Foods Market is getting ready to open its much-anticipated location in Toronto’s Leaside neighbourhood.

Earlier this year, the company announced it was closing nine stores in the U.S. due to sluggish sales and cancelled plans for store openings in Calgary and Edmonton. This, along with delays (the original target was spring 2016), led to some speculation about the future of the 1860 Bayview Ave. location, however the 54,000-sq. ft. store will open April 26.

The organic foods retailer has found itself in turmoil as of late. In February, it posted its sixth consecutive quarter of same-store sales declines, and late last week Jana Partners upped its stake in the company and in the process threatened to shakeup the board and overhaul operations.

The news overshadowed the release of CEO John Mackey's book titled The Whole Foods Diet: The Lifesaving Plan for Health and Longevity. Mackey said the goal was to empower readers to make “more informed” food choices that promote health and vitality, while also promoting unity among what he described as the various health diet “tribes.”

Canada’s first Whole Foods location opened in Toronto in 2002 and with this newest location, the company will have 13 stores—six in British Columbia and seven in Ontario.



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