Whole Foods Plans to Acquire Six Johnnie's Foodmaster Stores
A national chain of supermarkets that focuses on natural and organic foods is in talks to possibly take over several locations of a locally-owned grocery store.
The Boston Globe is reporting that Whole Foods Market is looking at buying or taking over leases for six of the ten Johnnie's Foodmaster locations in the Greater Boston area. The article mentions that the upscale supermarket chain is interested in the Arlington, Brookline, Charlestown, Melrose, Somerville (Beacon Street), and South Weymouth locations of Johnnie's, with the status of stores in Lynn, Medford, Somerville (Alewife Brook Parkway), and Whitman being unknown at this point in time.
[October 26 update: CBS Boston reports that Whole Foods has taken over the leases of the six Johnnie's Foodmaster stores mentioned above. The article says that the six locations will shut down sometime before the transaction officially goes through (which should happen on November 30). Expect the new Whole Foods stores to open sometime "before the end of its 2013 fiscal year."]
Johnnie's Foodmaster, which started out in East Cambridge in 1947, is one of the last family-owned urban grocery store chains in the Boston area, according to the Globe. The stores tend to be smaller than most area supermarkets and are known for their old-fashioned neighborhood-friendly atmosphere and low prices.
Whole Foods currently has approximately 20 locations in the Boston area, with new locations on their way to the South End of Boston and Lynnfield.