Whole Foods Prepares a British Beachhead

The natural-foods chain is opening a pilot store in London's tony Kensington neighborhood, but local rivals are digging in for a fight

After three consecutive years of double-digit growth, Whole Foods Markets now is projecting that its same-store sales growth will slow to just 6% to 8% in fiscal 2007. So the natural-foods retailer is eagerly looking forward to the opening of its first store in Britain next spring. Located in the heart of London's upscale Kensington neighborhood, the 80,000-square-foot outlet will mark the first step in a long-awaited British invasion by the Austin (Tex.)-based company.

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