Supermarkets and natural food stores have long competed for customers, but the rhetoric in that battle took on a sharper tone recently. John Mackey, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Whole Foods Market, Austin, Texas, told financial analysts that his company was picking up momentum in the war with conventional supermarkets. "Our third-quarter comps were up 7.6% and theirs are negative, and we believe we're gaining share at their expense," he asserted. Questioning the ...

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